William James was born into a wealthy family and was the brother of novelist Henry James. William had an eclectic trans-Atlantic education and was fluent in both German and French. Education in his family household encouraged cosmopolitanism. Like Sigmund Freud, James was influenced by Darwin’s theory of natural selection. At the core of his 1890 monumental 1200-page book, The Principles of Psychology was a system of “instincts.” James’s book of lectures on pragmatism is arguably the most influential book of American philosophy.
James’ career was spent at Harvard, where he was an instructor of physiology and anatomy. In 1885, he was a full professor and endowed chair of psychology. Among James’s students were Theodore Roosevelt, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Gertrude Stein. James interacted with scholars and writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was his godfather, Mark Twain, Horatio Alger, and Sigmund Freud. While at Harvard, James joined in discussions with Charles Sanders Peirce, Oliver Wendell Homes, and Chauncey Wright. This group became known as The Metaphysical Club. James joined the Anti-Imperialist League in 1898, opposing the United States’ annexation of the Philippines.
This William James History Mug is part of our Author Series which includes many unique individuals.
The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history. The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton. He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia tone. The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.
- Mugs are food and microwave safe.
- To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
- Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.