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Classical American Pragmatism:  Its Contemporary Vitality

Classical American Pragmatism : Its Contemporary Vitality
by Sandra Rosenthal


Varieties of Religious Experience by William James

The Varieties of Religious Experience
by William James


The Unifying Moment : The Psychological Philosophy of William James and Alfred North Whitehead

The Unifying Moment:  The Psychological Philosophy of William James and Alfred North Whitehead
by Craig R. Eisendrath

William James  1842 - 1910

bulletTexts:  William James
bulletUsed Books:  William James
bulletTexts:  American Pragmatism
bulletTexts:  American Psychology
bulletKnow of a Resource?


William James by Frank Pajares 

Frank PajaresFrank Pajares has  created an excellent, straight forward portal for research on William James.  This site is fitting for those looking to find an introduction to James' work as well as those interested in more in-depth study. 

Site includes:

bulletChronology, biographical info, photos, and sketches
bulletTalks to Teachers on Psychology.
bulletThe Principles of Psychology.
bulletThe Will to Believe.
bulletEssays in Radical Empiricism.
bulletOn The Varieties of Religious Experience.
bulletEssays, excerpts, and reviews.
bulletBibliographic Information.
bulletBook reviews (about WJ).
bulletOther sites on the Internet related to William James.
bulletDiscussion Groups or Chats about William James.
bulletRelated sites (Dewey, Mead, Peirce).
bulletSearch the Web for information on William James.
bulletIntroducing The Psychologist Malgré Lui.
bulletJames defines Psychology.
bulletExcerpts and highlights from Talks to Teachers.
bulletJames on the teaching art,
bulleton interest,
bulleton how an individual settles into a new opinion,
bulleton truth (theory, reality),
bulleton memory, and,
bulletof course, on habit.
bulletA special bit of Jamesian wisdom.
bulletJames, Dewey, beliefs, and knowledge acquisitions - a model.
bulletA model of truth and pragmatism.
bulletJames on the goal of psychology - a modest little slide show.
bulletOn genius.
bulletA thought provoking passage on tenderness in education.
bulletAs William James said . . . a few random observations.
bulletStudy questions used at Emory for Chapter 3 of the Jimmy (The Self).
bulletSome excellent advice for professors and researchers


Brief Introduction to William James

From a course entitled New Age, New Thought: William James and the Varieties of Religious Experience given at Brooks Divinity School. (An amazing website!)


Email Discussion group

You can subscribe to an e-mail discussion group on William and the James Family. To join, send an e-mail message to   with the message SUBSCRIBE JAMESF-L YOURNAME (replacing "YOURNAME" with your own full name). You will receive instructions about accessing the archive and posting messages. Thanks to Randal Albright for this information.


William James Lecture Hall

This online lecture hall (Chat and message board) is devoted to all contemplations, musings, and queries concerning William James.


William James Live Recitation

Every day, on the hour, fans of the Great Books from around the world gather here to participate in a live recitation centered about William James. Generally this chatroom is most active from 9:00 PM to 3:00 AM EST, but you may arrange other times to meet here in the William James Lecture Hall, where you can also post more permanent messages and enjoy an archive of fellow student's wit and wisdom.


Biological Consciousness and the Experience of the Transcendent: William James and American Functional Psychology

Essay by Eugene Taylor, Harvard University Medical School

"All trends pertaining to the mind/body problem in the late 19th century, from both popular and high culture, seem now in retrospect to culminate in the functionalism of the American philosopher-psychologist, William James (1842-1910)."


"The Nitrous Oxide Philosopher"

Essay by Demitri Tymoczko.

"Do drugs make religious experience possible? They did for James and for other philosopher-mystics of his day. James's experiments with psychoactive drugs raise difficult questions about belief and its conditions"


Letters of William James, to Circa 1890

Part II: the 1890s

Part III: 1900-1910

Edited by his son, Henry James, Jr. 

William James corresponded with many people of many sorts. Sometimes he communicated by postcards, or short notes; at others he wrote copious letters. Whether he was compressing his correspondence into the briefest messages, or allowing it to expand into letters of friendly badinage and extended comment, he was incapable of writing a half page that was not characteristic, free, and vivid.


"Mind and Body:  René Descartes to William James"

Essay by Robert H. Wozniak, Bryn Mawr College.  Modified from the Catalogue Accompanying an Exhibition of Books from the Collections of the National Library of Medicine, Held in Honor of the Centennial Celebration of the American Psychological Association, August 7 to December 15, 1992


"Mind, Body, and Culture: American Psychology before William James"

Section of above Essay by Robert H. Wozniak, Bryn Mawr College pertaining directly to William James.

"In the 138 years that separated the Elementa Philosophica (1752) of Samuel Johnson  from William James's Principles of Psychology, a rich and surprisingly large corpus of material bearing directly on psychological issues was published in America."


"William James Writ Large"

An essay about William James and Charles Darwin by Jonathan Schull.


"A View of William James"

Essay by R.H. Albright (Boston, MA; 1997-98)

"William James (1842-1910) is to me the embodiment of what a Doctor with great bedside manner should do: make you feel good!"


William James: Biography

Essay by Ekaterina Roubina, Winter 1996. Contains a brief description of main landmarks in the life and work of William James, who is considered to be the father of modern American psychology.


A Biographical Sketch of William James

From David Wulff's The Psychology of Religion: Contemporary and Classic Views. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1991.


"Pluralism, Pragmatism, and Instrumental Truth"

Essay by William James.  From A Pluralistic Universe, New York, 1909, pp. 321-4 and Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking [1907], New York, l909, pp. 52-61; reprinted by permission of Longmans, Green & Co., Ltd. and Paul R. Reynolds Inc.


Lesser-Known Literary and Philosophical Influences

From a course entitled New Age, New Thought: William James and the Varieties of Religious Experience given at Brooks Divinity School.

"William James was so widely-read that discovering all the people who influenced him is an impossible task. Many of the philosophers, psychologists, theologians, and literary figures that James read are well-known. Locke, Hume, Berkeley, Kant, for example, are all familiar to modern audiences, especially those with any background at all in philosophy."


Classics in the History of Psychology

An internet resource developed by Christopher D. Green   York University, Toronto, Ontario and  Featured in the Science & Engineering Network News (October, 1998).


Obituary of William James

Written by James Jackson, Atlantic Monthly, 1910.


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