James Bissett Pratt

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James Bissett Pratt (June 22, 1875 – January 15, 1944) held the Mark Hopkins Chair of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy at Williams College. He was president of the American Theological Society 1934–1935.

Born in Elmira, New York, Pratt attended Williams College, graduating in 1898. He subsequently studied at the University of Berlin and at Harvard University, earning his doctorate with William James in 1905. He returned to his alma mater to teach and write on philosophy thereafter.


  • The Psychology of Religious Belief, 1907
  • What Is Pragmatism? 1909
  • India and Its Faiths
  • Democracy and Peace
  • Essays in Critical Realism
  • The Religious Consciousness: A Psychological Study, 1920
  • Matter and Spirit, 1922
  • The Pilgrimage of Buddhism, 1928
  • Reason in the Art of Living, 1949
  • Eternal Values of Religion, 1950


  • Biographical Note, James Bissett Pratt Papers, Williams College Archives and Special Collections