William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist who was also trained as a physician. The first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States,
James was one of the leading thinkers of the late nineteenth century and is believed by many to be one of the most influential philosophers the United States has ever produced, while others have labelled him the "Father of American psychology".
James wrote widely on many topics, including epistemology, education, metaphysics, psychology, religion, and mysticism. Among his most influential books are Principles of Psychology, which was a groundbreaking text in the field of psychology, Essays in Radical Empiricism, an important text in philosophy, and The Varieties of Religious Experience, which investigated different forms of religious experience.
He married Alice Gibbens in 1878. They had a son William (Bill) 1882-1961 - an artist.
Following his January, 1907 retirement from Harvard, James continued to write and lecture, publishing Pragmatism, A Pluralistic Universe, and The Meaning of Truth. James was increasingly afflicted with cardiac pain during his last years. It worsened in 1909. He sailed to Europe in the spring of 1910 to take experimental treatments which proved unsuccessful, and returned home on August 18. His heart failed him on August 26, 1910 at his home in Chocorua, New Hampshire. He was buried in the family plot in Cambridge Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In his book titled “Motivation and Personality”, Abraham Maslow described William James as a ‘self-actualized person’. Such ‘individuals’ have a strong sense of the interconnectedness of all things, having peak experiences at one with the universe, stronger and calmer than ever before, filled with light, beauty, goodness. The self-actualizer seems to constantly renew appreciation of life's basic goods: A sunset or a flower will be experienced as intensely time after time as it was at first. There is an "innocence of vision", like that of an artist or child: Because they are not trapped in the mind by thoughts based on memories, but have gone beyond to an awakened state of consciousness. There are many more characteristics of self-actualized people as a consequence, exhibited by William James.
Readers of Susan E. Gunter’s Alice in Jamesland, a fascinating new biography of the formidable wife of William James, which ends in 1922 with her death, will be eager to know, for example, what happened to Alice’s youngest son, Aleck, born in 1890, of whom Gunter paints a tender portrait. Of all of the family, he seemed the most vulnerable and the most sweetly indifferent to the legacy of the name he had inherited. Despite his father’s strict views, Aleck seemed to remain a free spirit.
In Lewis’s book we discover that he became a painter, which was what he wanted to be, and that he remained happily married to the woman of his choice, despite his mother’s early disapproval of her, and that, while his brother Harry “made money” and the next brother Billy “married money,” Aleck devoted his life to his art.
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William is 19 degrees from Vinnie Hoxie, 17 degrees from Frederic Remington, 19 degrees from Pablo Picasso, 23 degrees from Edgar Degas, 4 degrees from Alexander Calder, 17 degrees from Camille Claudel, 16 degrees from John Bacon, 14 degrees from Barbara Hepworth, 18 degrees from Norman Lindsay, 15 degrees from Frances Loring, 18 degrees from Florence Wyle and 20 degrees from Elaine Weatherall on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.