American psychologist and philosopher William James (1842–1910) developed a mediating path to understand and cope with intellectual disagreement. This template did not come to him any more easily than it would for anyone dealing with the contemporary challenges of deep cultural and political polarization. Although the compelling contrasts he experienced in his young adulthood, especially the competing commitments of science and religion, initially filled him with indecision and discouragement, he later synthesized the parts of his education into a platform for comprehending intellectual differences in relation to each other. James's approach to intellectual differences can be summarized with "three Rs": the psychological roots of intellectual differences, their relations to each other, and effective ways to respond to them. James's ideas offer an education in strategies for coping with disagreement based on understanding how differences emerge to encourage searching for bridges across diversity.