Human Immortality

by William James

William James (1842-1910), became one of the most eminent of American philosophers and psychologists. He was a teacher at Harvard (1872-1907);, at first of physiology and anatomy, later of psychology and philosophy.

This book was published in 1898 by Houghton, Mifflin and Company, The Riverside Press, Cambridge. This material was prepared for Religion-Online by Ted & Winnie Brock.


(ENTIRE BOOK) Immortality is not incompatible with the brain-function theory of our present mundane consciousness. It is compatible in fully individualized form. Every memory and affection of one’s present life is to be preserved.


  • Preface James answers his critics who claim his thoughts are a pantheistic idea of immortality, not the Christian idea (survival in strictly personal form). He answers that one may conceive the mental world behind the veil in as individualistic a form as one pleases, without any detriment to the general scheme by which the brain is represented as a transmissive organ.
  • Human Immortality: Two Supposed Objections to the Doctrine Every memory and affection of one's present life is to be preserved, and one shall never in sæcula sæculorum cease to be able to say to himself: "I am the same personal being who in old times upon the earth had those experiences."