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  • Kim

Psychology & William James

William James Hall is home to Harvard University's Psychology, Sociology, and Social Studies Departments. But why was the building named after William James?

William James was a philosopher, whose pioneer work was undertaken at Harvard. Initially trained in painting, James abandoned the arts and enrolled in Harvard in 1861 to study chemistry and anatomy. In 1875 James taught one of the university’s first courses in psychology, “The Relations between Physiology and Psychology,” for which he established the first experimental psychology demonstration laboratory. In 1890 James published a highly influential, two-volume synthesis and summary of psychology, Principles of Psychology. The books were widely read in North America and Europe, gaining attention and praise from Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung in Vienna. James then moved away from experimental psychology to produce more philosophical works (he is credited as one of the founders of the school of American Pragmatism), although he continued to teach psychology until he retired from Harvard in 1907.

Video: The first time I got a chance to visit William James Hall and Skinner's Office.


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