Metaphysics means nothing but an unusually obstinate effort to thinkclearly.
1890 The Principles of Psychology, ch.6.
Sobriety diminishes, discriminates, and says no; drunkenness expands, unites, and says yes.William James
A difference which makes no difference is no difference at all.William James
My thinking is first and last and always for the sake of my doing.William James
Democracy is still upon its trial. The civic genius of our people is its only bulwark.William James
But facts are facts, and if we only get enough of them theyare sure to combine.William James
The aim of science is always to reduce complexity to simplicity.William James
Many persons nowadays seem to think that any conclusion must be very scientific if the arguments in favor of it are derived from twitching of frogs' legs especially if the frogs are decapitatedand thaton the other handany doctrine chiefly vouched for by the feelings of human beings^with heads on their shouldersmust be benighted and superstitious.William James
In my individual heart I fully believe my faith is as robust as yours. The trouble with your robust and full bodied faiths, however, is, that they begin to cut each others throats too soon, and for getting on in the world and establishing a modus vivendi these pestilential refinements and reasonablenesses and moderations have to creep in.William James
The total possible consciousness may be split into parts which co-exist but mutually ignore each other.William James
Creatures extremely low in the intellectual scale may have conception. All that is required is that they should recognize the same experience again. A polyp would be a conceptual thinker if a feeling of 'Hello! thingumbob again!' ever flitted through its mind.William James
Genius , in truth , means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.William James
The impulse to take life strivingly is indestructible in the race.William James
Who does not see that we are likely to ascertain the distinctive significance of religious melancholy and happiness, or of religious trances, far better by comparing them as conscientiously as we can with other varieties of melancholy, happiness, and trance, than by refusing to consider their place in any more general series, and treating them as if they were outside of nature's order altogether?William James
Now in all of us, however constituted, but to a degree the greater in proportion as we are intense and sensitive and subject to diversified temptations, and to the greatest possible degree if we are decidedly psychopathic, does the normal evolution of character chiefly consist in the straightening out and unifying of the inner self. The higher and the lower feelings, the useful and the erring impulses, begin by being a comparative chaos within us they must end by forming a stable system of functions in right subordination. Unhappiness is apt to characterize the period of order-making and struggle.William James
A paradise of inward tranquility seems to be faith's usual result.William James
I have often thought that the best way to define a man's character would be to seek out the particular mental or moral attitude in which, when it came upon him, he felt himself most deeply and intensely active and alive . At such moments there is a voice inside which speaks and says: "This is the real me!"William James
Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.William James
The sway of alcohol over mankind is unquestionably due to its power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature.William James
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