James, William

William James (1842–1910) was an American physician, psychologist, and philosopher. He is best known for his Principles of Psychology (1890) and Pragmatism (1907), and especially for The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902). This book began as the Gifford Lectures that he gave at Edinburgh in 1901 and 1902, and it has long been regarded as his most famous work. The Varieties of Religious Experience is composed of 20 lectures and a postscript. James had intended to provide a descriptive, psychological account which would be followed by an evaluative philosophical one. However, he spent so much time on the first account that he only began to address the second. He promised a book in which he would reveal his judgments about religion, but poor health prevented ...

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