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The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/James, William (psychologist)

< The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)

JAMES, William, American psychologist and philosopher: b. New York, 11 Jan. 1842; d. Chocorua, N. H., 26 Aug. 1910. He was the son of Henry James, theologian, and brother of Henry James, novelist. He was educated in New York and abroad, studied in 1861-63 at the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University, accompanied the Thayer expedition to Brazil in 1864-65, was graduated from the Harvard Medical School in 1870, in 1872 was appointed instructor in anatomy and physiology at the school, and in 1876 assistant professor of physiology. In 1885 he was appointed assistant professor of philosophy in the university, in 1889 professor of psychology, and subsequently professor of philosophy. He was Gifford lecturer on natural religion in the University of Edinburgh (1899-1901); Lowell Institute lecturer (1906); and Hibbert lecturer on the modern status of philosophy at Manchester College, Oxford (1909). His best-known work was done in the domain of analytical psychology, in which he won European recognition. His works are marked by a most readable style and skilful exposition of different topics, notably “radical empiricism” and “pragmatism.” He was a founder of the American Society for Psychological Research in 1884, and published ‘Principles of Psychology’ (1890); and ‘Psychology, Briefer Course’ (1892), both popular textbooks; ‘The Will to Believe’ (1897); ‘Human Immortality’ (1898); ‘Talks to Teachers on Psychology’ (1899); ‘The Varieties of Religious Experience’ (1902); ‘Pragmatism’ (1907); ‘A Pluralistic Universe’ (1909); ‘The Meaning of Truth’ (1909); ‘Memories and Studies’ (1911); ‘Some Problems of Philosophy’ (1911); ‘Essays in Radical Empiricism’ (1912). Consult ‘Essays Philosophical and Psychological in Honor of William James, by his Colleagues at Columbia University’ (London 1908); Flournoy, Th., ‘The Philosophy of William James’ (New York 1917); Knox, H. V., ‘Philosophy of William James’ (London 1914); Royce, J., ‘William James, and Other Essays on the Philosophy of Life’ (New York 1911).