The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by the Harvard University psychologist and philosopher William James. These lectures concerned the nature of religion and the neglect of science, in James' view, in the academic study of religion. Soon after its publication, the book entered the canon of psychology and philosophy, and has remained in print for over a century. James went on to develop his philosophy of pragmatism; there are many overlapping ideas in Varieties and his 1907 book, Pragmatism. The lectures discussed the distinction between symbolism and reality. Symbols, such as the word "e;steak"e; on a menu, do not embody the actuality of the objects they represent. The word "e;steak"e; on a menu merely points to some slab of meat in the back of the restaurant. In a similar way, James posits that all of science is fundamentally detached from reality since the tools of science are merely pointers to some actual objective realm.