William James, “Lecture XX, Conclusions° Last chapter of The Varieties of Religious Experience

A Study in Human Nature. From lectures at the University of Edinburgh in 1901 and 1902

After reading the assignment and using the tools you will learn from Adler’s book, you will be identifying the authors POINT, i.e. what it is that the author wants you to understand (not merely to know) that you may not have understood before? This ‘point” of the reading will necessarily come down to a set of answers to one or more of the “basic philosophical-religious questions” (BPRQs) — always, in one way or another, directly or indirectly. These are the questions to which every human being must have some sort of answer in order to make choices in life. They are: 1) What is the nature of the universe? 2) What is the nature of man? 3) Therefore, what must we do to be happy? Structure your Previews by writing three paragraphs, each one corresponding to one of the three BPRQs above. A) Essential Point — What is the author’s thesis (state or implied answer to the BPRQ)? B) Essential Text — What text supports the author’s answer? You will need to quote from the text. C) Logical Analysis — How exactly does the author argue for this answer? Previews should be 750 words in length, and should include some direct quotations from the text under consideration; however, quotations should not constitute more than 25% of the total number of words.