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William James and British thought: then and now

  • David E. Leary (a1)

Abstract

The American psychologist and philosopher William James drew inspiration from British evolutionary theory, neurology, psychiatry, psychology and philosophy. Trained in anatomy, physiology and medicine, he developed a physiological psychology that offered acute analyses of consciousness and of the relations between mind and brain, habit and thought, cognition and emotion and other aspects of psychology. One of his insights, regarding the relation between attention and will, was based upon his own experience of panic anxiety, which was resolved through his reading of several British authors. The story of his psychiatric experience, practical response and later theoretical conclusion offers a potential contribution to contemporary therapeutic practice.

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None.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to David E. Leary (dleary@richmond.edu)

References

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1James, W. The Principles of Psychology. Harvard University Press, 1981.
2James, W. Pragmatism. Harvard University Press, 1975.
3James, W. The Varieties of Religious Experience. Harvard University Press, 1985.
4James, W. A Pluralistic Universe. Harvard University Press, 1977.
5Bunyan, J. The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which is to Come (rev Walker, EA). Geo. E. Leavitt, 1869.
6Carpenter, WB. The Principles of Mental Physiology, with their Applications to the Training and Discipline of the Mind, and the Study of Its Morbid Conditions. D. Appleton, 1874.
7Frankl, V. Man's Search for Meaning 3rd ed. Simon & Schuster, 1984.
8Leary, DE. The Routledge Guidebook to James's Principles of Psychology. Routledge, 2018.
9Leary, DE. New insights into William James's personal crisis in the early 1870s: Part I. Arthur Schopenhauer and the origins & nature of the crisis. William James Studies 2015; 11: 127.
10Leary, DE. New insights into William James's personal crisis in the early 1870s: Part II. John Bunyan and the resolution & consequences of the crisis. William James Studies 2015; 11: 2845.
11Leary, DE. A moralist in an age of scientific analysis and skepticism: Habit in the life and work of William James. In A History of Habit: From Aristotle to Bourdieu (eds Sparrow, T, Hutchinson, A): 177208. Lexington Books, 2013.

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William James and British thought: then and now

  • David E. Leary (a1)
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