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Sick Souls, Healthy Minds

How William James Can Save Your Life
Written by: John Kaag
Narrated by: Daniel Henning
Length: 4 hrs and 50 mins

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Publisher's Summary

From the celebrated author of American Philosophy: A Love Story and Hiking with Nietzsche, a compelling introduction to the life-affirming philosophy of William James

In 1895, William James, the father of American philosophy, delivered a lecture entitled "Is Life Worth Living?" It was no theoretical question for James, who had contemplated suicide during an existential crisis as a young man a quarter century earlier. 

Indeed, as John Kaag writes, "James's entire philosophy, from beginning to end, was geared to save a life, his life"- and that's why it just might be able to save yours, too. 

Sick Souls, Healthy Minds is a compelling introduction to James's life and thought that shows why the founder of pragmatism and empirical psychology -and an inspiration for Alcoholics Anonymous - can still speak so directly and profoundly to anyone struggling to make a life worth living.

Kaag tells how James's experiences as one of what he called the "sick-souled," those who think that life might be meaningless, drove him to articulate an ideal of "healthy-mindedness" - an attitude toward life that is open, active, and hopeful, but also realistic about its risks. In fact, all of James's pragmatism, resting on the idea that truth should be judged by its practical consequences for our lives, is a response to, and possible antidote for, crises of meaning that threaten to undo many of us at one time or another. Along the way, Kaag also movingly describes how his own life has been endlessly enriched by James.

Eloquent, inspiring, and filled with insight, Sick Souls, Healthy Minds may be the smartest and most important self-help book you'll ever read.

©2020 John Kaag (P)2020 Recorded Books

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  • C. Gross
  • 05-04-20

Narrator belittles Janes

The book itself is interesting. The narrator is awful, awful. Every time he quotes William James, he speaks in an affected, priggish voice. It's as if he thoroughly dislikes William James and wants to make him seem like a snotty pretend-aristocrat. Why in the world does he do this? Unbelievable. Does Audible actually review these things?

3 people found this helpful

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  • Syd Allan
  • 12-05-20

I cannot bear listening to that affected accent

The material is great, but I cannot bear listening to the affected accent the narrator uses for reading quotations.