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William James

William James (1842-1910) was a philosopher from America, physician and psychologist, one of the first major proponents of the school of pragmatism and the first American professor of psychology. James, whose brother was the novelist Henry James, has been called the “Father of American psychology,” and remains one of the most influential thinkers in American letters. Paper Masters can help you compose a research paper for your philosophy class. Here is a sample introduction for a research paper on William James.


William James' Background


Born into a wealthy, literary family, James’s godfather was Ralph Waldo Emerson and he received an international education. William JamesHe earned an M.D. from Harvard in 1869, although he never practiced medicine. In 1873, he began teaching at Harvard, a position he held for the rest of his career. James lectured on:

In 1872, he cofounded The Metaphysical Club, among whose members were future Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce.

James' Work

Throughout his life, James was a prolific writer. Among his major works is Principles of Psychology, published in 1890. In What Pragmatism Means, James outlined much of philosophy, which held that the value of a truth lay in its use to the believer. James called his belief “radical empiricism,” which meant that experience is never an objective situation. James is credited with the James-Lange theory of emotion, which states that emotion is what the mind perceives from physiological conditions.

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