It is interesting that James carefully avoids saying that professors just want to hear themselves discourse lengthily. In other words, the issue goes beyond simple narcissism. For myself, I not only like to discourse lengthily, but often prefer others to do so as well. I tend not to trust a two-sentence universe. (And after all, a brief description represents its own form of narcissism, not only love of one's own pithiness, but also a feeling that one has so conquered a theme that one can reduce it to, so to speak, a motto.)
Or perhaps, judging from the length of "Varieties of Religious Experience," he was ruefully commenting on himself? Perhaps my first reaction was paranoid.In my own defense, I will say I didn't invent the tension between professors and the folks who don't say much. I just fully participate in it.
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