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William James at his desk creating this collection

Serving New Thought is pleased to present

William James's

Varieties of Human Experience and more . . .

Book page numbers, along with the number to the left of the .htm extension match the page numbers of the original books to ensure easy use in citations for research papers and books



One of the most influential Americans of his time, William James 1902 classic: The Varieties of Religious Experience was instrumental in bringing the study of religion as a psychological experience into the mainstream. later his work The Principles of Psychology spawned an entire school of psychology known as Functionalism.

William James was a renaissance man, a physician, naturalist, artist, psychologist, philosopher, psychic researcher, religious thinker, experimenter, writer, lecturer, and professor. James always strove to balance the rational with the spiritual.

His book The Principles of Psychology was published in late 1890. A huge book, it described psychology as a `natural science' that was unsystematic and incomplete at that time. Beautifully written, it quickly became the best selling psychology text in English stressing the utility and potential relevance of psychological ideas for his reader.

Will, the conscious process that directs voluntary movements, proved to be a major organizing theme for The Principles of Psychology which includes chapters on brain function and structure, neural activity, habit, `the automaton-theory', stream of consciousness, conception, discrimination, sight, hearing, touch, temperature sense, muscular sense, pain, sensations of motion, the self, attention, association, the sense of time and space, memory, sensation, imagination, perception, reasoning, voluntary movement, instinct, the emotions, will, and hypnotism;

The James-Lange theory of emotion was also included in the book; The theory states that within human beings, as a response to experiences in the world, the autonomic nervous system creates physiological events such as muscular tension, a rise in heart rate, perspiration, and dryness of the mouth. Emotions, then, are feelings which come about as a result of these physiological changes, rather than being their cause. ~wikipedia

This has practical applications: to the degree that we control a physiological response to a stimulus, we can govern the associated emotion.

 

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