James, William

An American philosopher and psychologist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He was one of the first theorists to suggest that humans, like other animals, possess instincts. He also opposed then-dominant views by arguing that human identity is grounded not in metaphysics but in behavior.

Note

Novelist Henry James was William James's brother.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.