William James

Topics: William James, Psychology, Religion Pages: 3 (938 words) Published: May 31, 2011
Research Paper-William James

William James, an American psychologist and philosopher was born on January 11, 1842 at the Astor House in New York City. His father James Sr. is described as an independently wealthy and notoriously eccentric Swedenborgian theologian well acquainted with the literary and intellectual elites of his day. (wikipedia, 2011, p.1) The James family were remarkable epistolary of talents. His brother became a prominent novelist and his sister publicly published a diary. James was a very ill child, who had various amounts of sickness both physical and psychological all growing up and eventually until his death. He attended Harvard Medical School in 1864 and the following year, went on a scientific expedition on the Amazon River. Soon after he fell sick and traveled to Germany in search of a cure and stayed until November 1868. His self diagnosed "soul-sickness" was cured in 1872. James went on to earn his M.D. in June 1872, although he would never practice medicine. In the same year James began to teach at Harvard University. In his spare time James read philosophy and began to see a link between it and physiology. To James the two seemed to converge in psychology. (Morris, Maisto, 2010, p. 6) He published his first textbook, The Principles of Psychology in 1890. He married Alice Gibbons in 1878.

William James studied and taught biology, medicine, and psychology but was more interested in the scientific study of the human mind. James' acquaintances Herman Helmoholtz of Germany Pierre Janet of France implemented courses of scientific psychology at Harvard in the 1875-76 school year. (Shultz, 2004, p. 179). James and associates created the lively group known as The Metaphysical Club in 1872. Some of James' students included Boris Sidis, Theodore Roosevelt, W.E.B. Dubois, Walter Lipmann, Mary Culkins, Ralph Barton Perry, G. Stanley Hall, Horace Kallen, and George Santayana. William James retried from Harvard University in 1907. James...
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