The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Arc Manor LLC, Mar 1, 2008 - Philosophy - 384 pages
35 Reviews
Please visit www.ArcManor.com for more books by this and other great authors.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
18
4 stars
4
3 stars
9
2 stars
3
1 star
1

Review: The Varieties of Religious Experience (Bedford Series in History & Culture)

User Review  - Douglas - Goodreads

Rarely do I read a book a second time, but this is now the third time I've read this one, and it's still fresh and relevant. Read full review

Review: The Varieties of Religious Experience (Bedford Series in History & Culture)

User Review  - Jeff Wheeler - Goodreads

This was definitely not a pleasure read - it's a series of lectures from an psychologist back in the early 1900's that he gave in Scotland. I got it for free on Kindle and spent many months going ... Read full review

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

William James, oldest of five children (including Henry James and Alice James) in the extraordinary James family, was born in New York City on January 11, 1842. He has had a far-reaching influence on writers and thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Broadly educated by private tutors and through European travel, James initially studied painting. During the Civil War, however, he turned to medicine and physiology, attended Harvard medical school, and became interested in the workings of the mind. His text, The Principles of Psychology (1890), presents psychology as a science rather than a philosophy and emphasizes the connection between the mind and the body. James believed in free will and the power of the mind to affect events and determine the future. In The Will to Believe (1897) and The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902), he explores metaphysical concepts and mystical experiences. He saw truth not as absolute but as relative, depending on the given situation and the forces at work in it. He believed that the universe was not static and orderly but ever-changing and chaotic. His most important work, Pragmatism (1907), examines the practical consequences of behavior and rejects the idealist philosophy of the transcendentalists. This philosophy seems to reinforce the tenets of social Darwinism and the idea of financial success as the justification of the means in a materialistic society; nevertheless, James strove to demonstrate the practical value of ethical behavior. Overall, James's lifelong concern with what he called the "stream of thought" or "stream of consciousness" changed the way writers conceptualize characters and present the relationship between humans, society, and the natural world. He died due to heart failure on August 26, 1910.

Bibliographic information