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William James

William JamesBorn: 11-Jan-1842
Birthplace: New York City
Died: 26-Aug-1910
Location of death: Chocorua, NH
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Cambridge Cemetery, Cambridge, MA

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Philosopher, Psychologist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Principles of Psychology

American philosopher, son of the Swedenborgian theologian Henry James, and brother of the novelist Henry James, was born on the 11th of January 1842 at New York City. He graduated M.D. at Harvard in 1870. Two years after he was appointed a lecturer at Harvard in anatomy and physiology, and later in psychology and philosophy. Subsequently he became assistant professor of philosophy (1880-85), professor (1885-89), professor of psychology (1889-97) and professor of philosophy (1897-1907). In 1899-1901 he delivered the Gifford lectures on natural religion at the University of Edinburgh, and in 1908 the Hibbert lectures at Manchester College, Oxford. With the appearance of his Principles of Psychology (2 vols., 1890), James at once stepped into the front rank of psychologists as a leader of the physical school, a position which he maintained not only by the brilliance of his analogies but also by the freshness and unconventionality of his style. In metaphysics he upheld the idealist position from the empirical standpoint. Beside the Principles of Psychology, which appeared in a shorter form in 1892 (Psychology), his chief works are: The Will to Believe (1897); Human Immortality (Boston, 1898); Talks to Teachers (1899); The Varieties of Religious Experience (New York, 1902); Pragmatism: a New Name for some Old Ways of Thinking (1907); A Pluralistic Universe (1909; Hibbert lectures), in which, though he still attacked the hypothesis of absolutism, he admitted it as a legitimate alternative. He received honorary degrees from Padua (1893), Princeton (1896), Edinburgh (1902), and Harvard (1905). He died on the 27th of August 1910.

Father: Henry James, Sr. (theologian)
Brother: Henry James (author)
Brother: Garth Wilkinson
Brother: Robertson
Sister: Alice

    University: Lawrence Scientific School, Harvard University
    Medical School: Harvard Medical School
    Professor: Harvard University (1872-1907)

    Risk Factors: Depression, Insomnia

Is the subject of books:
The Thought and Character of William James, 1935, BY: Ralph Barton Perry, DETAILS: (2 vols.)
William James, 1967, BY: Gay Wilson Allen
The Compromised Scientist: William James in the Development of American Psychology, 1983, BY: Daniel W. Bjork

Author of books:
The Principles of Psychology (1890, 2 vols.)
The Will to Believe, and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy (1897)
Human Immortality: Two Supposed Objections to the Doctrine (1897)
Talks to Teachers on Psychology: and to Students on Some of Life's Ideals (1899)
The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature (1902)
Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking (1907, lectures)
A Pluralistic Universe (1909, lectures)
The Meaning of Truth: A Sequel to "Pragmatism" (1909)
Some Problems of Philosophy (1911)
Memories and Studies (1911)
Essays in Radical Empiricism (1912)
Letters of William James (1920, letters, 2 vols.)
Collected Essays and Reviews (1920, essays)
The Correspondence of William James (1922-2004, letters, 12 vols.)


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