1842-1910, American Psychologist, Professor, Author
We never fully grasp the import of any true statement until we have a clear notion of what the opposite untrue statement would be.
William James – [Truth]
We want all our friends to tell us our bad qualities; it is only the particular ass that does so whom we can't tolerate.
William James – [Candor]
We, the lineal representatives of the successful enactors of one scene of slaughter after another, must, whatever more pacific virtues we may also possess, still carry about with us, ready at any moment to burst into flame, the smoldering and sinister traits of character by means of which they lived through so many massacres, harming others, but themselves unharmed.
William James – [Aggression]
What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is praise — although the philosophers generally call it ''recognition''!
William James – [Praise]
Whatever universe a professor believes in must at any rate be a universe that lends itself to lengthy discourse. A universe definable in two sentences is something for which the professorial intellect has no use. No faith in anything of that cheap kind!
William James – [Universe]
When we of the so-called better classes are scared as men were never scared in history at material ugliness and hardship; when we put off marriage until our house can be artistic, and quake at the thought of having a child without a bank-account and doomed to manual labor, it is time for thinking men to protest against so unmanly and irreligious a state of opinion.
William James – [Materialism]
When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that in itself is a choice.
William James – [Choice]
Whenever two people meet there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.
William James – [Possibilities]
Where quality is the thing sought after, the thing of supreme quality is cheap, whatever the price one has to pay for it.
William James – [Worth]
Why should we think upon things that are lovely? Because thinking determines life. It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment. Environment modifies life but does not govern life. The soul is stronger than its surroundings.
William James – [Thoughts and Thinking]
Wisdom is learning what to overlook.
William James – [Wisdom]