Thursday, 11 July 2013

William James on the Sacredness of Matter

Browsing through my collection of William James’s books in order to find a particular quote, I stumbled upon the following passage, which I marked a long time ago, but had forgotten about, and which might serve as a postscript to my previous post on Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos. The passage is from Pragmatism (Longmans, Green, and Co. 1907), p. 95:

“To any one who has ever looked on the face of a dead child or parent the mere fact that matter could have taken for a time that precious form, ought to make matter sacred ever after. It makes no difference what the principle of life may be, material or immaterial, matter at any rate cooperates, lends itself to all life’s purposes. That beloved incarnation was among matter’s possibilities.”

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