Varieties Of Religious Experience


I thought that I’d read this before, but now I’m not so sure. Surely, I wasn’t thinking of Henry? More likely, I was imposing some stereotypes and prejudices onto my memories.

What my memories left out was how gentle and credulous the scientist was of religious experience and feelings, most especially towards a sort of combination of positive thinking and what we would call ‘new age faith healing.’ He is slightly less gentle towards of forms of Christian belief and gives the impression of personally being a vaguely agnostic Methodist (except when receiving positive energies from new age healers).

James, when speaking about knowledge, frequently uses the term ‘warranted.’ I bring this up because of Alvin Plantinga’s advocacy of using the word ‘warrant’ instead of ‘justified’ when defining knowledge. I am cruelly and inadequately simplifying here, but one reason is that he didn’t like the moralism implied in ‘justified,’ at least not in an epistemological context. How much did Plantinga take from James’ gentle treatment of religious feeling and his use of ‘warranted?’