William James

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Date of Birth January 11, 1842
Place of Birth New York City, New York
Date of Death Aug 26, 1910 (68)
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William James

William James was an American philosopher and psychologist, and the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States. James is considered to be a leading thinker of the late nineteenth century, one of the most influential philosophers of the United States, and the "Father of American psychology". Along with Charles Sanders Peirce, James established the philosophical school known as pragmatism, and is also cited as one of the founders of functional psychology. A Review of General Psychology analysis, published in 2002, ranked James as the 14th most eminent psychologist of the 20th century. A survey published in American Psychologist in 1991 ranked James's reputation in second place, after Wilhelm Wundt, who is widely regarded as the founder of experimental psychology. James also developed the philosophical perspective known as radical empiricism.

Born: January 11, 1842, New York City, US
Died: August 26, 1910, Tamworth, New Hampshire, US
Nationality: American
Alma mater: Harvard University, MD (1869)

About William James

The first educator to introduce a psychology course in the U.S. and author of several books on the different branches of psychology.

Before Fame

He attended Harvard Medical School. He later became known as the Father of American Psychology.


He enjoyed discussing and writing about free will, carrying on the legacy of philosopher Immanuel Kant.

Family Life

He was married to Alice Gibbens and his brother was famous novelist Henry James.


He, Charles Sanders Peirce, and John Dewey all pioneered pragmatism and were founders of functional psychology.

Information related to William James

  • "The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life " - "The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life" was an essay by the philosopher William James, which he first delivered as a lecture to the Yale Philosophical Club, in 1891. It was later included in the collection, The Will to Believe and other Essays in Popular Philosophy.
  • Psychology of religion - Psychology of religion consists of the application of psychological methods and interpretive frameworks to the diverse contents of religious traditions as well as to both religious and irreligious individuals.
  • American philosophy - American philosophy is the activity, corpus, and tradition of philosophers affiliated with the United States.
  • William James Lectures - The William James Lectures are a series of invited lectureships at Harvard University sponsored by the Departments of Philosophy and Psychology, who alternate in the selection of speakers.
  • William James Society - The William James Society is an interdisciplinary professional society which supports the study of the life and work of American psychologist and philosopher William James. The organization was founded in 1999. For several years, the WJS published a newsletter named Streams of William James.
  • New Thought
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  • Social philosophers
  • Educational psychologists
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  • Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences alumni
  • Philosophers of religion
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  • Analytic philosophers
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Latest information about William James updated on October 30, 2020.

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