The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by the Harvard psychologist and philosopher William James that comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on "Natural Theology" delivered at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland between 1901 and 1902. For other people named William James see William James (disambiguation William James (January 11 1842 – August 26 1910 was a pioneering The Gifford Lectures were established by the will of Adam Lord Gifford (died 1887) Natural theology is a branch of Theology based on Reason and ordinary Experience, explaining the gods rationally as part of the physical world The University of Edinburgh (Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann founded in 1582 is a renowned centre for teaching and research in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Scotland ( Gaelic: Alba) is a Country in northwest Europethat occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. Year 1901 ( MCMI) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting Year 1902 ( MCMII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting
Scientific theories are organically conditioned just as much as religious emotions are; and if we only knew the facts intimately enough, we should doubtless see 'the liver' determining the dicta of the sturdy atheist as decisively as it does those of the Methodist under conviction anxious about his soul. Methodism is a movement within Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations When it alters in one way the blood that percolates it, we get the Methodist, when in another way, we get the atheist form of mind.
These lectures concerned the nature of religion and the neglect of science, in James' view, in the academic study of religion. Soon after its publication, the book found its way into the canon of psychology and philosophy, and has remained in print for over a century. James would go on to develop his philosophy of pragmatism, and there are already many overlapping ideas in Varieties and his 1907 book, Pragmatism. Pragmatism generally considered to have originated in the late nineteenth century with Charles Peirce, who first stated the Pragmatic maxim.
James believes that the study of the origin of an object or an idea does not play a role in the study of its value. He asserts that existential judgment, or the scientific examination of an object's origin, is a separate matter from that object's value. One must not consider an object's physical derivation when making a proposition of value. As an example, he alludes to the Quaker religion and its founder, George Fox. George Fox (July 1624 – 13 January 1691 was an English Dissenter and a founder of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers Many of the scientists in James' audience, and many today, immediately reject all aspects of the Quaker religion because evidence suggests that Fox was schizophrenic. Schizophrenia ( from the Greek roots schizein (σχίζειν "to split" and phrēn Calling this rejection medical materialism he insists that the origin of Fox's notions about religion should not come into account when propositioning the value of the Quaker religion. As an aside, many believe El Greco to have suffered from astigmatism, yet no one would dismiss his art based on this medical detail. El Greco' ("The Greek " 1541 &ndash April 7 1614 was a painter, sculptor, and architect of the Spanish Renaissance See also Aberration in optical systems, Astigmatism (eye An Optical system with astigmatism is one where rays that propagate James proposes, somewhat sarcastically, that his audience's atheism is perhaps a dysfunction of the liver. Atheism The liver is a vital organ in the human body and is present in Vertebrates and some other animals Some believe science to be superior to religion because of religion's seemingly vain, unfounded, or perhaps insane origin. Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning " Knowledge " or "knowing" is the effort to discover, and increase human understanding In his lectures, James asserted that these claims, while perhaps historically or epistemologically interesting, play no role in the separate question of religion's value. Epistemology (from Greek επιστήμη - episteme, "knowledge" + λόγος, " Logos " or theory of knowledge
Ignoring the more scientific topic of medical health, James described two types of spiritual health:
The lectures discussed the distinction between symbolism and reality. "Symbolic" redirects here For other uses see Symbolism (disambiguation and Symbolic (disambiguation. Reality, in everyday usage means "the state of things as they actually exist" Symbols, such as the word "steak" on a menu, do not embody the actuality of the objects they represent. The musical instrument is spelled Cymbal. A symbol is something --- such as an object, Picture, written word a sound a piece The word "steak" on a menu merely points to some slab of meat in the back of the restaurant. In a similar way, James posits that all of science is fundamentally detached from reality since the tools of science are merely pointers to some actual objective realm. Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning " Knowledge " or "knowing" is the effort to discover, and increase human understanding He criticized his audience for the scientific tendency to ignore the unseen aspects of life and the universe. As an example, he discussed the way the notion of a lemon causes salivation in the mouth of an individual; while there is no lemon, there is clearly a process occurring worthy of academic inquiry.
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