William James Quotes

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

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

Philosophy lives in words, but truth and fact well up in to our lives in ways that exceed verbal formulation. There is in the living act of perception always something that glimmers and twinkles and will not be caught, and for which reflection comes too late.

Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.

Whenever two people meet there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other sees him, and each man as he really is.

The instinct of ownership is fundamental in man’s nature.

The art of becoming wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.

To study the abnormal is the best way of understanding the normal.

Need and struggle are what excite and inspire us; our hour of triumph is what brings the void.

Individuality is founded in feeling; and the recesses of feeling, the darker, blinder strata of character, are the only places in the world in which we catch real fact in the making.