James William Quotes

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James William Quotes

(The subject of Peter Gallaghers eyebrows, I realize, is a digression away from the Oneida Community, and yet, I do feel compelled, indeed almost conspiracy theoretically bound to mention that one of the reasons the Oneida Community broke up and turned itself into a corporate teapot factory is that a faction within the group, led by a lawyer named James William Towner, was miffed that the communitys most esteemed elders were bogarting the teenage virgins and left in a huff for none other than Orange County, California, where Towner helped organize the Orange County government, became a judge, and picked the spot where the Santa Ana courthouse would be built, a courthouse where, it is reasonable to assume, Peter Gallaghers attorney on The O.C. might defend his clients.)
— Sarah Vowell —

William James, who believed the decisive thing about us was not intelligence, strength, or wealth. The real question posed to us is the effort we are willing to make,

— George Sheehan

O intalnire cu filozoful William James mi-a lasat o impresie de neuitat. Nu am putut sa nu tin minte aceasta scena: in cursul unei plimbari, el s-a oprit deodata, mi-a incredintat servieta si m-a rugat sa continui drumul, el avand sa ma urmeze de indata ce ii va fi trecut criza de anghina pectorala pe care o presimtea. A murit de inima un an mai tarziu; n-am incetat sa-mi doresc un asemenea curaj in fata sfarsitului apropiat.

— Sigmund Freud

William James describes a man who got the experience from laughing-gas; whenever he was under its influence, he knew the secret of the universe, but when he came to, he had forgotten it. At last, with immense effort, he wrote down the secret before the vision had faded. When completely recovered, he rushed to see what he had written. It was: A smell of petroleum prevails throughout.

— Bertrand Russell

When he died, Emerson was thought of as the representative American writer par excellence, and his point of view was still so potent that William James was honored to be asked to speak at a centenary celebration.

— Howard Mumford Jones

I don't think I have one particular favourite writer. I have many whose works I will always buy or reread - Muriel Spark, Anthony Powell, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ruth Rendell, James Ellroy, William McIlvanney, Kate Atkinson, John Burnside, Louise Welsh, Iain Banks.

— Ian Rankin

The James family, raised by their Emersonian father, accepted their heritage, with reservations by Henry yet fewer by William.

— Harold Bloom


— Jack Canfield

All our life," William James told us in the prologue, "so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits-practical, emotional, and intellectual-systematically organized for our weal or woe, and bearing us irresistibly toward our destiny, whatever the latter may be."9.29

— Charles Duhigg

William James said: "The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. We need only in cold blood act as if the thing in question were real, and it will become infallibly real by growing into such a connection with our life that it will become real. It will become so knit with habit and emotion that our interests in it will be those which characterize belief." He also said,"If you only care enough for a result, you will almost certainly attain it. If you wish to be rich, you will be rich. If you wish to be learned, you will be learned. If you wish to be good, you will be good - only you must, then, really wish these things, and wish them exclusively, and not wish at the same time a hundred other incompatible things just as strongly.

— Earl Nightingale

In 1862, the Scottish mathematician James Clerk Maxwell developed a set of fundamental equations that unified electricity and magnetism. On his deathbed, he coughed up a strange sort of confession, declaring that "something within him" discovered the famous equations, not he. He admitted he had no idea how ideas actually came to him-they simply came to him. William Blake related a similar experience, reporting of his long narrative poem Milton: "I have written this poem from immediate dictation twelve or sometimes twenty lines at a time without premeditation and even against my will." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe claimed to have written his novella The Sorrows of Young Werther with practically no conscious input, as though he were holding a pen that moved on its own.

— David Eagleman

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