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Sunday, July 4, 2010

William James: Not afraid of dying, but annoyed to be doing it so soon

Jonathan Rée appreciates William James for being “just about the only philosopher who didn’t end up as either a pettifogging nit-picker or an overbearing egomaniac with delusions of genius.”
If [William James’s] works have not been as widely read as they deserve, they have been able, from time to time, to strike lights in the lives of others — most notably Ludwig Wittgenstein, who of all the great philosophers was always the hardest to please. Bertrand Russell allowed himself to be thoroughly vexed in 1912, when Wittgenstein kept praising Varieties of Religious Experience and telling him that ‘it does me a lot of good.’

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