William James on Habit, Will, Truth, and the Meaning of Life
Edited and with an Introduction by James Sloan Allen
Softcover`: ISBN 9781929490455, $19.95
Kindle: ISBN 9781929490462, $6.99
312 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Bibliography, Index

William James, the radical modern philosopher and father of American psychology, found habit and will to be the secret of a good life. He elaborated this discovery into a philosophy of life that runs through his many scintillating writings, ranging from psychology and religion to pragmatism and war. Always he urged people to cultivate habits of mind—especially the habits of will, including the power to break bad habits—that give us self-mastery, alert us to truth, equip us to act, and lend zest to life.
   In the extensive Introduction James Sloan Allen shows how William James came to his philosophy of life and how he played it out in ideas and works that have immediate value today. In the selections that are included in the book, we see William James weaving this philosophy through classic writings on habit and its uses, consciousness and the discipline of will, the efficacy of belief and clues to morality, the truths of experience, and the strenuous life and its rewards. Who can resist learning secrets of life? That was, after all, William James's subject.

William James (1842–1910) was the son of the philosopher Henry James and brother of the novelist Henry James. In 1890 he published his brilliant and epoch-making Principles of Psychology. He went on to write other classics in psychology, philosophy, and practical wisdom, such as The Will to Believe, The Varieties of Religious Experience, Pragmatism, and "The Moral Equivalent of War."
James Sloan Allen, a cultural historian, essayist, and critic, is the author of Worldly Wisdom: Great Books and the Meanings of Life and The Romance of Commerce and Culture. He now resides in Honolulu.