The Principles of Psychology, Volume 1

Front Cover
Cosimo, Inc., 2007 - Psychology - 708 pages
The Principles of Psychology is a two-volume introduction to the study of the human mind. Based on his classroom lessons and first published in 1890, James has gathered together what he feels to be the most interesting and most accessible information for the beginning student. Psychology, according to James, deals with thoughts and feelings as its facts and does not attempt to determine where such things come from. This would be the realm of metaphysics, and he is careful to avoid crossing over from science into philosophy. This first volume contains discussions of the brain, methods for analyzing behavior, thought, consciousness, attention, association, time, and memory. Anyone wanting a thorough introduction to psychology will find this work useful and engaging. American psychologist and philosopher WILLIAM JAMES (1842-1910), brother of novelist Henry James, was a groundbreaking researcher at Harvard University and one of the most popular thinkers of the 19th century. Among his many works are Human Immortality (1898) and The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature (1902).
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - keithhamblen - LibraryThing

12/22/20 I own the complete set (vol 1-54) and keep them at home on the top west shelf of my office; this includes The Great Conversation (which is volume 1) and The Great Ideas (volumes 2-3, the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - donbuch1 - LibraryThing

This classic series represents the Western canon not without academic controversy. The latest volumes of the Great Books include some women writers, but they are still definitely underrepresented ... Read full review

Contents

I
1
II
12
III
81
IV
104
V
128
VI
145
VII
183
VIII
199
X
291
XI
402
XII
459
XIII
483
XIV
550
XV
605
XVI
643
Copyright

IX
224

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About the author (2007)

William James, oldest of five children (including Henry James and Alice James) in the extraordinary James family, was born in New York City on January 11, 1842. He has had a far-reaching influence on writers and thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Broadly educated by private tutors and through European travel, James initially studied painting. During the Civil War, however, he turned to medicine and physiology, attended Harvard medical school, and became interested in the workings of the mind. His text, The Principles of Psychology (1890), presents psychology as a science rather than a philosophy and emphasizes the connection between the mind and the body. James believed in free will and the power of the mind to affect events and determine the future. In The Will to Believe (1897) and The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902), he explores metaphysical concepts and mystical experiences. He saw truth not as absolute but as relative, depending on the given situation and the forces at work in it. He believed that the universe was not static and orderly but ever-changing and chaotic. His most important work, Pragmatism (1907), examines the practical consequences of behavior and rejects the idealist philosophy of the transcendentalists. This philosophy seems to reinforce the tenets of social Darwinism and the idea of financial success as the justification of the means in a materialistic society; nevertheless, James strove to demonstrate the practical value of ethical behavior. Overall, James's lifelong concern with what he called the "stream of thought" or "stream of consciousness" changed the way writers conceptualize characters and present the relationship between humans, society, and the natural world. He died due to heart failure on August 26, 1910.

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