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Psychology

University of Richmond

William James

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New Insights Into William James’S Personal Crisis In The Early 1870s: Part 1. Arthur Schopenhauer And The Origin & Nature Of The Crisis, David E. Leary Jan 2015

New Insights Into William James’S Personal Crisis In The Early 1870s: Part 1. Arthur Schopenhauer And The Origin & Nature Of The Crisis, David E. Leary

Psychology Faculty Publications

This article, the first in a two-part sequence, will cast new light on the well-known “crisis of William James” by presenting evidence regarding the previously unrecognized role of Arthur Schopenhauer’s thought in shaping and intensifying the way in which James experienced this crisis. It will also relate Schopenhauer’s influence to prior issues that had concerned James, and in an appendix it will provide an overview of other areas in which Schopenhauer seems to have influenced James, both during and after his personal crisis. The second article in this sequence will present evidence in support of the strong possibility ...


New Insights Into William James's Personal Crisis In The Early 1870s: Part Ii. John Bunyan And The Resolution & Consequences Of The Crisis, David E. Leary Jan 2015

New Insights Into William James's Personal Crisis In The Early 1870s: Part Ii. John Bunyan And The Resolution & Consequences Of The Crisis, David E. Leary

Psychology Faculty Publications

This article, the second in a two-part sequence, will cast new light on the strong possibility that John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress played a previously unrecognized role in inspiring James’s means of defense against the frightening hallucination and panic fear that characterized his well-known personal crisis in the early 1870s. It will also present an argument about the influence of his defensive measures upon his subsequent views on the nature and importance of attention and will in human life. Along the way, it will identify James’s specific, newly discovered copy of Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s ...


A Moralist In An Age Of Scientific Analysis And Skepticism: Habit In The Life And Work Of William James, David E. Leary Jan 2013

A Moralist In An Age Of Scientific Analysis And Skepticism: Habit In The Life And Work Of William James, David E. Leary

Psychology Faculty Publications

In this chapter I will review how James got from his earlier position, which so readily fit the scientific and skeptical tenor of his age, to his later position, and I will indicate how the views he began to articulate by the mid-1870s became central to the doctrines he presented in his magisterial Principles of Psychology (1890) and in his subsequent work in psychology and philosophy. Along the way I will make it clear that even before 1872, when he was attending lectures and doing physiological research in Harvard's Medical School, James was a deeply engaged advocate of philosophy ...


Visions And Values: Ethical Reflections In A Jamesian Key, David E. Leary Jan 2009

Visions And Values: Ethical Reflections In A Jamesian Key, David E. Leary

Psychology Faculty Publications

The purpose of this article is to provide a quick survey of William James's views on the plurality of visions that humans have regarding reality, as a background for more extensive discussions of his views on the plurality of values that orient human thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, as well as his views on the enactment of those values through active resistance to the ways things are and the risk-taking involved in striving to improve the human condition. Consonant with pluralism itself, I intend this discussion to open up rather than close off further considerations of James's views on ...


Instead Of Erklären And Verstehen: William James On Human Understanding, David E. Leary Jan 2007

Instead Of Erklären And Verstehen: William James On Human Understanding, David E. Leary

Psychology Faculty Publications

Perhaps more than any other American psychologist and philosopher, William James (1842-1910) was intimately familiar with contemporary European thought and debate, including the discussion of Erklären and Verstehen advanced by Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911) and others around the turn of the twentieth century. Even before this discussion was initiated, James had been dealing with related issues, pondering alternative solutions, and formulating his own original views on human understanding. These views coalesced in a distinctive approach to cognition. Fundamental to this approach was a belief in possibility and probability as innate features of the physical as well as mental manifestations of the ...


William James On The Self And Personality: Clearing The Ground For Subsequent Theorists, Researchers, And Practitioners, David E. Leary Jan 1990

William James On The Self And Personality: Clearing The Ground For Subsequent Theorists, Researchers, And Practitioners, David E. Leary

Psychology Faculty Publications

The fundamental basis of William James's psychology - the rock-bottom foundation on which it is constructed - is "the stream of thought" or "the stream of consciousness. " 1* The first and preeminent characteristic of our flowingly continuous experience of "thought" or "consciousness," James (1890/1983d) said, is that it is personal (pp. 220-224). Every thought, every psychological experience, is mine, or hers, or his, or yours. For this reason, he suggested, "the personal self rather than the thought [or consciousness] might be treated as the immediate datum in psychology" (p. 221).2 Indeed, James was strongly convinced that "no psychology ... can ...