William James – A Pioneering American Psychologist

So many people have studied the life and workings of William James for a good reason.  He was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher.

About William James (1842 – 1910)

He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and the philosophy of pragmatism. He was the brother of novelist Henry James and of diarist Alice James.

William James was born at the Astor House in New York City, son of Henry James, Sr., an independently wealthy and notoriously eccentric Swedenborgian theologian well acquainted with the literary and intellectual elites of his day. The intellectual brilliance of the James family milieu and the remarkable epistolary talents of several of its members have made them a subject of continuing interest to historians, biographers, and critics.

James interacted with a wide array of writers and scholars throughout his life, including his godfather Ralph Waldo Emerson, Horace Greeley, William Cullen Bryant, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Charles Sanders Peirce, Josiah Royce, George Santayana, Ernst Mach, John Dewey, W.E.B. Du Bois, Helen Keller, Mark Twain, James Frazer, Henri Bergson, H. G. Wells, G. K. Chesterton, Sigmund Freud, Gertrude Stein, and Carl Jung.

William James – Classic Quotes

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”

Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.”

Action may not bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.”

Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.”

Everybody should do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.”

Education lesson resources from Kamaron Institute for parents and teachers.