American psychologist and philosopher. James was born into a wealthy New York family, and surrounded from an early age by a humanitarian, literary, and scholarly family life (his father was a theologian, and his brother the novelist Henry James). James had already spent years in Europe and begun an education as an artist, when he entered Harvard medical school in 1863, and he travelled in Brazil and Europe before he graduated with a medical degree in 1869. There followed years lecturing both on psychology and philosophy. James's first major work was the two-volume Principles of Psychology (1890), a work that does justice both to the scientific, laboratory study of experimental psychology, and the importance of a sound phenomenology of experience. James's own emotional needs gave him an abiding interest in problems of religion, freedom, and ethics; the popularity of these themes and his lucid and accessible style made James the most influential American philosopher of the beginning of the 20th century. His Gifford Lectures of 1901–2 were published as The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature; they are widely regarded as the most important work on religion produced in America (although see Santayana).
Notman Studios. (1903). William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910). Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:William_James_b1842c.jpg
William James. Oxford Reference. Ed. Retrieved 31 Oct. 2018, from http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100016980.