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Sick Souls, Healthy Minds: How William James Can Save Your Life Hardcover – March 17, 2020

4.4 out of 5 stars 180 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Finalist for the PROSE Award in Philosophy, Association of American Publishers"

"One of Next Big Idea Club's Most Anticipated Nonfiction Books of Spring"

"Characteristically elegant. . . . [Kaag] questioned the meaning of life. William James answered."---John Williams, New York Times Book Review

"Pithy and exacting. . . . Kaag, who by his own admission is ‘not always entirely sold on life’s value,’ writes with the fervor of on determined to hear life’s higher notes. . . . in these anxiety-inducing times, it may be worth testing the buoyancy of James’s existential life preserver."---Heller McAlpin, Wall Street Journal

"Earnest, accessible. . . . As [John] Kaag traces [William] James’s intellectual path away from determinism and depression, he both clarifies thorny academic questions and offers dashes of self-help, showing how today’s anxious souls might apply James’s principles and learn how to 'be not afraid of life'." ― New Yorker

Review

"Not since Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance have I read such a mesmerizing confluence of personal experience and formal thought as John Kaag's American Philosophy: A Love Story. That combination is on display again in his Sick Souls, Healthy Minds―a brief and powerful book about one of America's most profound minds, William James, and what he can teach us about what makes life worth living."―Robert D. Richardson, author of William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism

"In this beautifully written book, which is filled with bracing insights, John Kaag shows why William James has had a deep, life-altering, therapeutic effect on his readers over the past century―and can continue to have the same effect on new readers today."―Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, author of American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Princeton University Press; First Edition (March 17, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0691192162
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0691192161
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 13.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.1 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 180 ratings

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
180 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 12, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 12, 2020
This is a truly fantastic, life-affirming & thought-provoking Book! I have read Kaag’s Nietzsche book, and thoroughly enjoy it, and this exploration of William James didn’t disappoint.
If you are a ‘sick soul’ or prone to episode of acute existential ennui (as I am) then you’ll gain a lot from reading this marvellous book. Reviewing the psychology & philosophy of James - Kaag demonstrates how one can affirm life. Whilst things happen to us that are seemingly beyond our control, how we ‘choose’ to respond to such events is (largely) down to us: we are not as passive as we sometimes think we are. This reminds me of logotherapy: despair is suffering in the absence of meaning.
Like he did in Hiking with Nietzsche - Kaag uses personal experiences to demonstrate how the psychology of James can help us in our life journey.
If you are interested in (practical) psychology or philosophy then you WILL enjoy this fabulous read!
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