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Ideas of William James, by Text

[American, 1842 - 1910, Born in New York. Brother of the novelist Henry James. Died at Chocorua.]

1896 The Will to Believe
p.188 p.58 Imagine millions made happy on condition that one person suffers endless lonely torture
1904 Does Consciousness Exist?
Intro p.100 'Consciousness' is a nonentity, a mere echo of the disappearing 'soul'
3 p.110 Consciousness is not a stuff, but is explained by the relations between experiences
1907 The Meaning of the Word "Truth"
p.2 p.250 You can only define a statement that something is 'true' by referring to its functional possibilities
1907 Pragmatism - eight lectures
Lec 2 p.21 Theories are practical tools for progress, not answers to enigmas
Lec 2 p.23 Ideas are true in so far as they co-ordinate our experiences
Lec 2 p.25 New opinions count as 'true' if they are assimilated to an individual's current beliefs
Lec 2 p.30 Truth is a species of good, being whatever proves itself good in the way of belief
Lec 3 p.37 We return to experience with concepts, where they show us differences
Lec 3 p.42 Private experience is the main evidence for God
Lec 3 p.43 The wonderful design of a woodpecker looks diabolical to its victims
Lec 3 p.43 It is hard to grasp a cosmic mind which produces such a mixture of goods and evils
Lec 3 p.44 Things with parts always have some structure, so they always appear to be designed
Lec 4 p.56 If there is a 'greatest knower', it doesn't follow that they know absolutely everything
Lec 4 p.57 'Substance' is just a word for groupings and structures in experience
Lec 5 p.74 Pragmatism says all theories are instrumental - that is, mental modes of adaptation to reality
Lec 6 p.77 In many cases there is no obvious way in which ideas can agree with their object
Lec 6 p.77 True ideas are those we can assimilate, validate, corroborate and verify (and false otherwise)
Lec 6 p.78 True thoughts are just valuable instruments of action
Lec 6 p.84 Truth is just a name for verification-processes
Lec 7 p.98 A 'thing' is simply carved out of reality for human purposes
Lec 8 p.105 Pragmatism accepts any hypothesis which has useful consequences
Lec 8 p.113 Nirvana means safety from sense experience, and hindus and buddhists are just afraid of life
Lec 8 p.115 If the God hypothesis works well, then it is true