Research Paper on William James and Functionalism

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PSY 101 4/7/13 “William James and Functionalism” I. Introduction William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist who had trained as a physician. He was the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States. James wrote influential books on pragmatism, psychology, educational psychology, the psychology of religious experience, and mysticism. He was the brother of novelist Henry James and of diarist Alice James. In the summer of 1878, William James married Alice Gibbens. William James was born at the Astor House in New York City. He was the son of Henry James Sr., a noted and…show more content…
The term 'function' can also refer to how the mental process functions in the evolution of the species, what adaptive property it provides that would cause it to be selected through evolution. Functionalism never really died, it became part of the mainstream of psychology. The importance of looking at process rather than structure is a common attribute of modern psychology. As an individual approach it lacked a clear formulation and inherited the problems of the structuralist reliance on introspection. IV. William James’ approach on functionalism Unlike Many Psychologist who were interested on structuralism (structures of the mind), William James instead was interested in consciousness and how it functions in individuals, especially in relation to behavior. James’s psychology experiments with his students tended to be more curious adventures in consciousness and practical application. James taught at Harvard University from 1878-1890. During this time, he completed his renowned psychological work: “The Principles of Psychology” in which he elucidated his
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