William James Quotes

William James Quotes  was an American philosopher, psychologist and physician who wrote on a wide variety of subjects. He helped establish psychology as a scientific discipline and was interested in the nature of consciousness, religion and spirituality. He was also a philosopher and developed the philosophical perspective known as pragmatism. He is often referred to as the “Father of American Psychology”.

James was born into an intellectually wealthy family in New York City on January 11, 1842. He showed early interest in art and studied painting, but he was always fascinated by science as well. James earned a medical degree, but chose not to practice medicine because he preferred to teach the fascinating concepts of psychology.

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In his book The Principles of Psychology, James discussed at length the nature of thought. He emphasized that thought is always changing, sensibly continuous, and tends to deal with objects independent of itself. It is also selective and focuses on some objects to the exclusion of others. It is this latter property that he described as attention.

While he favored naturalism, James believed that a person’s world view was essentially a spiritual structure. He explained that a person tunes in to the world view of a man who is dead, just as one tunes into a television program. This world view is a living picture that can be perceived by others.

Throughout his life, James influenced numerous writers and philosophers. He was a close friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and he also influenced Charles Sanders Peirce, Bertrand Russell, Josiah Royce, Ernst Mach and John Dewey. His philosophy of pragmatism has had a significant impact on modernist literature and culture, including the work of James Joyce.

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