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William James, Positive Psychology, and Healthy-Mindedness

William James, Positive Psychology, and Healthy-Mindedness J SP III Vanderbilt University In The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James offers a psychological analysis of the religious experiences of leading figures in traditional world religions. James diagnoses the leading figures of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism as "morbid-minded." He describes them in this way because of their beliefs that evil is an essential component of the world and that the only way we can live a truly joyful and meaningful life is by maximizing our awareness of this evil. James contrasts the views of these morbid-minded persons with individuals he calls "healthy-minded." Healthy-minded individuals believe evil is not an essential component of the world. For healthy-minded individuals, the way to a joyful and meaningful life lies through minimizing our awareness of evil. By ignoring or reinterpreting our experiences of it, they hold, we transform evil into good. James argues that the differences between morbid-minded and healthy-minded views of life are functions of an underlying difference of temperament and that persons of different temperament need different types of religion. If the traditional world religions appeal to the morbid-minded temperament, James holds, the newer "mind-cure" is one example of a religion that appeals to the healthy-minded temperament. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Speculative Philosophy Penn State University Press

William James, Positive Psychology, and Healthy-Mindedness

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by the Pennsylvania State University.
ISSN
1527-9383
Publisher site
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Abstract

J SP III Vanderbilt University In The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James offers a psychological analysis of the religious experiences of leading figures in traditional world religions. James diagnoses the leading figures of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism as "morbid-minded." He describes them in this way because of their beliefs that evil is an essential component of the world and that the only way we can live a truly joyful and meaningful life is by maximizing our awareness of this evil. James contrasts the views of these morbid-minded persons with individuals he calls "healthy-minded." Healthy-minded individuals believe evil is not an essential component of the world. For healthy-minded individuals, the way to a joyful and meaningful life lies through minimizing our awareness of evil. By ignoring or reinterpreting our experiences of it, they hold, we transform evil into good. James argues that the differences between morbid-minded and healthy-minded views of life are functions of an underlying difference of temperament and that persons of different temperament need different types of religion. If the traditional world religions appeal to the morbid-minded temperament, James holds, the newer "mind-cure" is one example of a religion that appeals to the healthy-minded temperament.

Journal

The Journal of Speculative PhilosophyPenn State University Press

Published: Jun 16, 2003

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