Reinterpreting the Legacy of William James

Pages: 371
Item #: 4316180
ISBN: 978-1-55798-180-6
List Price: $9.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $9.95
Copyright: 1992
Format: Softcover
Note: This book is out of print and no longer available for purchase.

William James, who wrote The Principles of Psychology over 100 years ago, presented psychology as a natural science, but resorted to philosophy for clarification of certain concepts. Reinterpreting the Legacy of William James examines how James's masterwork might have been revised in light of his later pluralistic, pragmatic approach to psychology and philosophy. A distinguished group of psychologists, philosophers, and historians contribute 23 chapters that probe this and other questions in a broad-based collection focused on the contemporary relevance of the works of James.

James's theories concerning psychology and philosophy are compared with those of his contemporaries, and his influence on others in analyzed. Chapters in the volume focus on the pertinence of James's legacy, contemporary psychology, James's debt to Darwin, the self, emotion, and evolutionary theory. Reinterpreting the Legacy of William James offers a retrospective investigation that clearly reveals James's ideological position in psychology and credits the Principles with increased theoretical thought and research. Scholars of psychology, philosophy, history, and science will all find that this celebration of the Principles provides a new and insightful interpretation of James's thought.

Table of Contents


—Florence L. Denmark

—Margaret E. Donnelly

—Margaret E. Donnelly

I. Present Relevance of James's Legacy

  1. The Case for a Uniquely American Jamesian Tradition in Psychology
    —Eugene Taylor
  2. Are There Unifying Trends in the Psychologies of the 1990s?
    —Anne Anastasi
  3. William James and Contemporary Psychology
    —Gerald E. Myers

II. Celebrating The Principles of Psychology

  1. Evolution and Revision of the Principles
    —D. Brett King
  2. The World We Practically Live In
    —Charlene Haddock Seigfried
  3. William James on the Advantages of a Pluralistic Psychology
    —Wayne Viney, Cheri L. King, and D. Brett King
  4. Toward a Psychology That Is Radically Empirical: Recapturing the Vision of William James
    —Donald A. Crosby and Wayne Viney
  5. A Phenomenological Reinterpretation of the Jamesian Schema for Psychology
    —Amedeo Giorgi

III. James's Debt to Darwin

  1. Selection—James's Principal Principle
    —Jonathan Schull
  2. James's Evolutionary Epistemology: "Necessary Truths and the Effects of Experience"
    —William R. Woodward

IV. Further Thoughts on the Self

  1. William James and the Psychology of Self
    —M. Brewster Smith
  2. William James and Contemporary Research on the Self: The Influence of Pragmatism, Reality, and Truth
    —Michael J. Strube, John H. Yost, and James R. Bailey

V. Emotion: "Here's What's Happened to Emotion, Mr. James"

  1. Silvan Tomkins's Theory of Emotion
    —E. Virginia Demos
  2. William James's Other Theory of Emotion
    —James R. Averill
  3. A Phenomenological Response to James's View of Emotion
    —Damian S. Vallelonga
  4. A Study of Emotion in the Context of Radical Empiricism
    —Wayne Viney

VI. Selected Topics: Mining the Jamesian Lode

  1. William James and Gustav Fechner: From Rejection to Elective Affinity
    —Helmut E. Adler
  2. William James and Instinct Theory Revisited
    —Donald A. Dewsbury
  3. William James: Closet Clinician
    —George S. Howard
  4. William James on the Mind and the Body
    —Daniel N. Robinson
  5. William James and the Concept of Free Will
    —Joseph F. Rychlak
  6. William James: Pioneering Ancestor of Modern Parapsychology
    —Gertrude R. Schmeidler


  1. A Centennial Note: What Would William James Say About the American Psychological Association Today?
    —Raymond D. Fowler