Glossary / Lexicon
William James (1842 - 1910)
William James refers to the Harvard University Psychologist who wrote the first book in Psychology, Principles of Psychology, published in 1897. James also wrote Varieties of Religious Experience (1902) that referred to spirituality, health , and psychology. Moreover, William James was instrumental in the founding of Functionalistic psychology. James emphasized the function of both consciousness and behavior . For him the only valid criterion for evaluating a theory , thought, or act is whether it works. In keeping with his pragmatism, he claimed that psychology needs to employ both scientific and non-scientific procedures. Similarly, on the individual level, sometimes one must believe in free will and at other times in determinism .