Essay on William James’ and the Legacy He Left Behind

Essay on William James’ and the Legacy He Left Behind

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Many people attribute modern psychology to psychologist such as Sigmund Freud, Ivan Pavlov, and B.F. Skinner. Though, they were a part of developing modern psychology, many forget to recognize important founders such as William James. According to King, Viney and Woody, James came from a family with a strict father, raised in tolerance. James and his father had many encounters because of their different views. They were a wealthy and cultured family. James attended Harvard, studying a broad spectrum of just about everything. He finally received his medical degree in 1869, but then became depressed and anxious about life. He was not fond of medicine and was then offered to teach a course in the Relations between Psychology and Physiology. He was also the founder of Harvard’s first psychology laboratory. James then began to teach psychology as well as writing the first U.S. psychology text, Principles of Psychology, in 1890; this book was the main psychology textbook for many years to come (p.284). James was well known for his philosophy, which he explored many areas. For example individualism, which he believed that circumstances shape individuals and then individuals shape the world also that we understand reality only through individual experiences. Pluralism was another view which he believed that there are many ways to understand the world, and a variety of methods and topics to study. Also, for James pragmatism was a belief that if an idea worked it was valid; these ideas should have “cash value” as he stated. He meant that these ideas should be useful and apply them to the real world. Although philosophy was a major part of his work, he was also known as the American founder of psychology (King, Viney &Woody 2013, p.286). Wi...


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...ychology as he is considerably a lasting impact on psychology today.




References
Brewer, C. L. William James's talks about teaching (2003). Teaching Of Psychology.
Comello, M. G. William James on 'possible selves': Implications for studying identity in communication contexts (2009). Communication Theory.
D. Brett King, Wayne Viney, & William Douglas Woody, (2013). A History of Psychology, Ideas & Context. 3rd ed. United States: Pearson.
Friedman, B. H. Feelings and the body: The Jamesian perspective on autonomic specificity of emotion(2010). Biological Psychology.
Izard, C. E. The substrates and functions of emotion feelings: William James and current emotion theory (1990). Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
James, William. The Stream of Thought (1890).
Pastorino, E., & Doyle-Portillo, S. (2012). What is Psychology? Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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