The Principles of Psychology, Vols. 1-2 (2 Volumes in 1) by William James

The Principles of Psychology, Vols. 1-2 (2 Volumes in 1) by William James
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The Principles of Psychology, Vols. 1-2 (2 Volumes in 1)

by William James

The publication in 1890 of William James's acknowledged masterpiece marked a turning point in the development of psychology as a science in America. The Principles of Psychology also became a source of inspiration in philosophy, literature, and the arts. When John Dewey reviewed it, he predicted that it would rank "as a permanent classic, like Locke's Essay and Hume's Treatise." Its stature undiminished after ninety-one years, The Principles of Psychology appears now in a new, handsome edition with an authoritative text that corrects the hundreds of errors, some very serious, that have been perpetuated over the years. Prepared according to the modern standards of textual scholarship, this edition incorporates all of the changes James made in the eight printings he supervised, as well as the revisions and new material he added to his own annotated copy. In addition, all footnotes, references, quotations, and translations have been thoroughly checked. The complete text of the Principles, with footnotes, drawings, and James's own index, appears in Volumes I and II. Volume III includes extensive notes, appendixes, textual apparatus, and a general index.


The Principles of Psychology is an American masterpiece which...ought to be read from beginning to end at least once by every person professing to be educated. It is a masterpiece in the classic and total sense --no need of a descriptive or limiting word before or after: not "of observation," or "of prose writing," not more "scientific" than "humanistic." One can point to these and other merits if one is so minded, but the fused substance defies reduction to a list of epithets. No matter how many unexpected qualities are found in it--wit, pathos, imaginative understanding, polemical skill, moral passion, cosmic vision, and sheer learning--the work remains always greater than their sum. (Jacques Barzun, author of A Stroll with William James (Harper & Row, 1983) ) A permanent classic, like Locke's Essay and Hume's Treatise. --John Dewey

The Principles of Psychology is simply a stunning achievement, a triumph of American scholarship...James's versatility, as both writer and thinker, is evident at every point throughout this book. There is nothing out of his range. He provide[s] a lucid, masterful summary of the evidence bearing upon a given topic; [and] consider[s] both the overt and tacit arguments involved in the research...Principles represents the cumulation and synthesis of doctrine and learning; it is hard to imagine anyone else as perfectly positioned to write the definitive text on psychology. (Psychology Today )