William James (1842-1910), Harvard professor of psychology and philosophy, is considered one of the pioneers of the psychology of religion. For James, religion is a deeply subjective phenomenon and not the acceptance of theological teachings. “While I was in general depression about my future, I was suddenly overcome by a terrible existential anxiety. The image of an epileptic that I had seen in the asylum appeared in my mind’s eye”, reported the psychologist William James during a lecture at the...
Luke Skywalker, the protagonist and hero in the “Star Wars” franchise, is nearing the target on the Deathstar to save a planet from mass destruction, but hears a voice from his dead friend, Obi-Wan Kenobi, instructing him to use the force. Conflicted between turning off the tracking computer on the basis of faith or keep the tracking computer on, Luke consults William James and William Clifford. Both of them are known as famous philosophers but have a position regarding faith...
What is the truth? Is there an adequate concept to define the truth? Many would be tempted to say that the truth is what corresponds to the facts, but perhaps doesn’t this depend on the level of knowledge of people, the moment, the environment, and even religion? How long was it true that the earth was flat? Joseph Goebbels said that a lie properly repeated a thousand times becomes a truth. So, is the truth changing? The truth can refer...
On a late September morning in 1891, William James walked reluctantly to his class in Harvard College’s Sever Hall. Characteristically dressed in a colorful shirt and a Norfolk jacket with a boutonniere, he must have seemed slightly bohemian. His lectures were spontaneous and rambling, unlike those of his more logical, organized colleagues. James claimed he did not like teaching, particularly to listless Harvard undergraduates. Yet he was good at it, even exceptional. Conversation with James, Walter Lippmann recalled, was “the...
Explain: From the beginning of his essay, “Now the blindness in human beings, of which this discourse will treat, is the blindness with which we all are afflicted in regard to the feelings of creatures and people different from ourselves”(WJ). William James is making the argument that we all have a blindness to the truth, and that blindness is all depending on how much the truth really affects us as a person. To go more in dept, giving the example...
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Evolution Evolution was emphasized in the late 1800s which one of the biggest theories there was at the time was social Darwinism. Darwin’s famous theory was intended to explain biological diversity and a specie’s ability to adapt to its environment. And while his theory has been a staple of science ever since its first publication, the theory of evolution has had a far greater impact on the larger society and culture than just the study of biology. The impact that...
William James, philosopher and psychologist, was instrumental in establishing Harvard’s psychology department, which at its inception was tied to the department of philosophy. James himself remained unconvinced that psychology was in fact a distinct discipline, writing in his 1892 survey of the field, Psychology: Briefer Course, ‘This is no science; it is only the hope of a science’ (p. 335). Despite James’s skepticism, in the ensuing century this hope was fully realized in the department he helped to found. Initially...
Abstract Granville Stanley Hall was considered a prophet of science, psychology, and youth. He was eager and well-equipped to share his views on psychology and how he believed it could change and revive education and religion. Hall originally set out to become a minister but was far too interested in literature and philosophy. He pursued his education and was able to teach and give lectures on philosophy and pedagogy both of which he was remarkable at. When he heard about...