1842 – He was born this year in New York City, the first child of five to the affluent and deeply religious Henry James and Mary Walsh James.
1855 – He received his education from tutors and private schools until the family moved to Europe in this year.
1858 – He continued his education until this year in Geneva, Paris, and Boulogne-sur-Mer. In the same year, the James family settled in Newport, Rhode Island and William started studying painting, the first of many disciplines he ultimately pursued.
1861 – He entered Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard.
1864 – He entered Harvard School of Medicine.
1869 - James received his M.D. in this year and developed severe depression.
1874 – He chose not to practice medicine and instead started teaching psychology at Harvard in this year. In addition to establishing the first American psychology laboratory the same year.
1878 - James married Alice Howe Gibbensn this year.
1880 - He added another discipline to his repertoire and was appointed Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Harvard (while continuing to teach psychology).
1890 - James published a twelve-hundred page masterwork, The Principles of Psychology this year. In this work, he spends some time discussing the individual's sense of self and being comprised of both the "I" or the knower, and the "Me" or the self-as-known.
1907 - He remained in that position until this year when he resigned from Harvard.
1910 – He dies of heart failure at his summer home in New Hampshire.
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- "Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact."
- "Most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness, and of their soul's resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his lttle finger. Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed."
- "The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind."
- "The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude."
- "There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision."