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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

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.


Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.


Truth lives, in fact, for the most part on a credit system. Our thoughts and beliefs pass, so long as nothing challenges them, just as bank-notes pass so long as nobody refuses them.


There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers.


These then are my last words to you. Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.


We don't laugh because we're happy - we're happy because we laugh.


The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments.


If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.


Time itself comes in drops.


I will act as if what I do makes a difference.


Action may not bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.


Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second.


I don't sing because I'm happy; I'm happy because I sing.


Our esteem for facts has not neutralized in us all religiousness. It is itself almost religious. Our scientific temper is devout.


We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause.


The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.


In the dim background of mind we know what we ought to be doing but somehow we cannot start.


The hell to be endured hereafter, of which theology tells, is no worse than the hell we make for ourselves in this world by habitually fashioned our characters in the wrong way.


Wisdom is learning what to overlook.


We are doomed to cling to a life even while we find it unendurable.


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