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William James Quotes

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William James
January 11, 1842 - August 26, 1910
Nationality: American
Category: Philosopher
Subcategory: American Philosopher

The greatest enemy of any one of our truths may be the rest of our truths.


A man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him.


Man can alter his life by altering his thinking.


One hearty laugh together will bring enemies into a closer communion of heart than hours spent on both sides in inward wrestling with the mental demon of uncharitable feeling.


The ideas gained by men before they are twenty-five are practically the only ideas they shall have in their lives.


To spend life for something which outlasts it.


Man lives for science as well as bread.


Truth is what works.


It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.


There must be something solemn, serious, and tender about any attitude which we denominate religious. If glad, it must not grin or snicker; if sad, it must not scream or curse.


There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man's lack of faith in his true Self.


It is wrong always, everywhere, and for everyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.


Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.


'Pure experience' is the name I gave to the immediate flux of life which furnishes the material to our later reflection with its conceptual categories.


If you want a quality, act as if you already had it.


The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.


It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.


What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is praise although the philosophers generally call it recognition!


Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something. Soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results.


Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.


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