William James : Writings 1902-1910

Called the “father of American psychology”, William James was one of the most influential thinkers of the last century. His influence spanned generations through many of his students at Harvard University, where he spent the majority of his academic career.

Feminist Gertrude Stein, author W.E.B Du Bois, philosopher George Santayana and President Theodore Roosevelt were among some of his students who later became equally influential. Educated abroad and fluent in German and French, he was also the godson of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

This is one of the last great works from a seminal figure in the history of American philosophy and psychology.

This book is included in the bookshelf because James’ opinions as a educational psychologist, regarding child development remain relevant today in that James had a great deal of respect for the intellect of children. He recommended that children be taught kinesthetically, through objects and movement. According to him, the link between instincts, or emotions, and actions provided the best foundation for instruction. Many of his theories were ahead of their time.

 

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