Quotes by William James

59 quotes found  
7772Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.
7795We know the meaning so long as no one asks us to define it.
7752Truth is what works.
7763The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.
7798The first thing the intellect does with an object is to class it along with something else. But any object that is infinitely important to us and awakens our devotion feels to us also as if it must be sui generis and unique. Probably a crab would be filled with a sense of personal outrage if it could hear us class it without ado or apology as a crustacean, and thus dispose of it. "I am no such thing," it would say; "I am MYSELF, MYSELF alone.
7784When a thing is new, people say: ‘It is not true.’ Later, when its truth becomes obvious, they say: ‘It is not important.’ Finally, when its importance cannot be denied, they say: ‘Anyway, it is not new.
7776Our view of the world is truly shaped by what we decide to hear.
7775Anything you may hold firmly in your imagination can be yours.
7773Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, 'This is the real me,' and when you have found that attitude, follow it.
7782Philosophy is an unusually stubborn attempt to think clearly.
7761Truth lives, in fact, for the most part on a credit system. Our thoughts and beliefs pass, so long as nothing challenges them, just as bank-notes pass so long as nobody refuses them.
7767The god whom science recognizes must be a God of universal laws exclusively, a God who does a wholesale, not a retail business. He cannot accommodate his processes to the convenience of individuals.
7770We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.
7774If you can change your mind, you can change your life.
7754It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.
7790All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits.
7786The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal.
7779We may be in the Universe as dogs and cats are in our libraries, seeing the books and hearing the conversation, but having no inkling of the meaning of it all.
7789As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use.
7747The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.
7765What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is praise although the philosophers generally call it recognition!
7749Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
7758If any organism fails to fulfill its potentialities, it becomes sick.
7750The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.
7748If you want a quality, act as if you already had it.
7768The greatest enemy of any one of our truths may be the rest of our truths.
7764Our faith is faith in someone else's faith, and in the greatest matters this is most the case.
7327Moltissime persone credono di pensare quando stanno semplicemente riorganizzando i propri pregiudizi.
7756Action may not bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.
7755Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.
9676l dipartimento volitivo della nostra natura domina sia il dipartimento razionale sia il dipartimento sensibile; o, in linguaggio più chiaro, la percezione e il pensiero esistono solo in vista della condotta.
7762Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver.
7753Verità è ciò che funziona.
7787We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood.
7780We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise anyone who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition.
7781The moral flabbiness born of the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess SUCCESS. That - with the squalid cash interpretation put on the word 'success' - is our national disease.
7746L'arte di essere saggi è l'arte di capire a cosa si può passar sopra.
7760Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.
7778Human beings are born into this little span of life of which the best thing is its friendships and intimacies … and yet they leave their friendships and intimacies with no cultivation, to grow as they will by the roadside, expecting them to "keep" by force of mere inertia.
2331L’arte di essere saggi è l’arte di capire a che cosa si può passare sopra.
7777Good-humor is a philosophic state of mind; it seems to say to Nature that we take her no more seriously than she takes us. I maintain that one should always talk of philosophy with a smile.
7759Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
7788Pragmatism asks its usual question. "Grant an idea or belief to be true," it says, "what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone's actual life? How will the truth be realized? What experiences will be different from those which would obtain if the belief were false? What, in short, is the truth's cash-value in experiential terms?
7757The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.
7771Whenever 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.
7794The means have murdered the end.
7799I will act as if what i do makes a difference.
7797So you see that the process of education, taken in a large way, may be described as nothing but the process of acquiring ideas or conceptions, the best educated mind being the mind which has the largest stock of them, ready to meet the largest possible variety of the emergencies of life. The lack of education means only the failure to have acquired them, and the consequent liability to be 'floored' and 'rattled' in the vicissitudes of experience.
7796My thinking is first and last and always for the sake of my doing.
7751There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers.
7785A sense of humor is just common sense dancing.
7791Invention, using the term most broadly, and imitation, are the two legs, so to call them, on which the human race historically has walked.
7800Thus, when a superior intellect and a psychopathic temperament coalesce...in the same individual, we have the best possible conditions for the kind of effective genius that gets into the biographical dictionaries. Such men do not remain mere critics and understanders with their intellect. Their ideas posses them, they inflict them, for better or worse, upon their companions or their age.
7766To be a real philosopher all that is necessary is to hate some one else's type of thinking.
7044Una delle più grandi scoperte della mia generazione è che un essere umano può cambiare la propria vita semplicemente cambiando il proprio modo di pensare.
7783Religion is a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism.
7792The exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess sucess is our national disease.
7769The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments.
7793In order to disprove the assertion that all crows are black, one white crow is sufficient.
59 quotes found