William James: Fear of Poverty Disease

Posted by admin on Monday, August 13, 2018

William James Money Quote saying those with an education seem oddly afraid of poverty, which makes for a diseased mind. William James said:
 
The prevalent fear of poverty among the educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers Quote
 

“The prevalent fear of poverty among the educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers” — William James

 

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In this quote, American philosopher and psychologist William James seems to be criticizing the level of fear surrounding poverty that existed among educated elites in his era.

James refers to the “prevalent fear of poverty” as the “worst moral disease” affecting civilization, implying it had seriously corrosive social effects. He saw this fear as disproportionate and misplaced among educated classes who theoretically had more means and opportunities.

The overall interpretation is that James believed an irrational and overblown terror of ending up poor, even among those with advantages of education and social standing, was morally corrupting society by perhaps prioritizing wealth accumulation and status over ethical concerns according to his view at the time.

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