The Varieties of Religious Experience Characters

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Jonathan Edwards

Theologian and metaphysician Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) was born in Connecticut, the only son of eleven children. He graduated from Yale at the age of seventeen and became a minister, as his father and grandfather were before him. James quotes Edwards throughout his lectures but in particular in his first lecture: "by their fruits ye shall know them, not by their roots." Man's roots, James expounds, are inaccessible. Only by the empirical evidence of the fruit is something known. This is one of James's basic tenets. Only by the results of a practice does one know if it is true.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Born in Stuttgart, Germany, Georg Hegel (1770-1831) was the central philosophical influence on Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels. James refers to Hegel's theories in his lecture on philosophy. He mentions two Hegelian school principles. The first is that "the fullness of life can...

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