William James was an American philosopher and psychologist, who was one of the founders of pragmatism and functional psychology.

Below is an excerpt from a biography of William James included with our books.

William James was born on January 11, 1842 at the Astor House in New York City.

William James attended schools in Geneva, Paris, and Boulogne-sur-Mer from 1855 to 1858 to develop interests in painting and science.

James studied painting with William Hunt from 1858 to 1859 in Newport, Rhode Island.

William studied science at Geneva Academy in Geneva from 1859 to 1860.

The Astor House in New York City, where William James was born.
Geneva Academy – University of Geneva, where William James studied.

William abandoned painting and entered Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard in 1861.

William James entered Harvard School of Medicine in 1864 and joined Amazon expedition of his teacher Louis Agassiz in 1865, collecting specimens for Agassiz’s zoological museum at Harvard. He returned to medical school in 1866.

William James travelled to Europe and Studied physiology at Berlin University from 1867 to 1868.

William James received M. D. degree in 1867 from Harvard, but never practiced.

William James accepted offer from President Eliot of Harvard to teach undergraduate course in comparative physiology in 1872 and accepted an appointment to teach full year of anatomy and physiology in 1873 at Harvard. He began teaching psychology; established first American psychology laboratory from 1874 to 1875.

William James published his another important work The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy in 1897.

William James resigned Harvard professorship in 1907 and published Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking, based on lectures given in Boston and at Columbia.

William James lived in Tamworth, New Hampshire during his later years.

William James died at Tamworth, New Hampshire on 26 August 1910.

Berlin University, where William James studied.
William James near his home in Tamworth, New Hampshire.