William James Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1842 - 1910 *** Full Name: William James *** Occupation: American Philosopher, Physician and Psychologies *** Date of Birth: William James was born on January 11th 1842 *** Place of Birth: William James was born in New York City, America *** Family background: His father was Henry James Sr, wealthy in his own right he was also a Swedenborgian theologian and his mother was Mary Robertson Walsh *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with four siblings, three brothers Henry Jr, Garth Wilkinson and Robertson and a sister, Alice *** Education: William James would receive an extensive trans-Atlantic education and also learned to speak French and German fluently ***
William James Fact 1: William James was born on January 11th 1842 and during the 19th century period in history when scientific discoveries were being made and innovations in mathematics, physics, biology, electricity and chemistry were moving very fast.
William James Fact 2: In 1861 he attended Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University. In 1854 William James switched to Harvard Medical School but his studies were interrupted by an expedition along the Amazon River, although eight months in having suffered terrible bouts of seasickness and smallpox he returned home.
William James Fact 3: In June of 1869 William James finally achieved his M.D. degree in medicine although he would never actually practice.
William James Fact 4: Having decided on one career path he subsequently took another writing "I originally studied medicine in order to be a physiologist, but I drifted into psychology and philosophy from a sort of fatality. I never had any philosophic instruction, the first lecture on psychology I ever heard being the first I ever gave".
William James Fact 5: William James began his career into psychology at a time in history when the subject was becoming part of the area of science.
William James Fact 6: He would spend the majority of his academic career at Harvard University appointed as the instructor in psychology from the spring term of 1873.
William James Fact 7: Having also studied medicine, biology and physiology he taught these subject at Harvard as well.
William James Fact 8: After a fruitful career he retired from Harvard University in January 1907.
William James Fact 9: In order to keep himself occupied he continued to write and give lectures. His published several books called A Pluralistic Universe, The Meaning of Truth and Pragmatism.William James Influence & Legacy: His legacy would be in the area of experimentation. He loathed being called a psychologist. He produced no original work but he would become the force driving psychology forward. He was also influenced by the likes of Charles Darwin as was Sigmund Freud in relation to the theory of natural selection.
William James Fact 10: Progressively he was suffering from cardiac pain and it was particularly bad by 1909 but he continued to work on a text on philosophy.
William James Fact 11: He decided on a trip to Europe in 1910 to try an experimental treatment that unfortunately proved ineffective and he returned home in August of 1910.
William James Fact 12: William James died on August 26th 1910 at his home in New Hampshire, aged sixty eight years of heart failure. His body was laid to rest in Cambridge Cemetery, Massachusetts in the family plot.
Important Events of the 19th century and during the life of William James include: Congress of the United States approves the annexation of Texas and Mexico breaks off relations with the United States.
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