I am writing a report on William James, and I need the age that James started reading philosophy for the first time. Can anyone help?

  • 1
    coincidentally, a video of a talk by Alan Wallace, admiring and praising William James, has been recently posted to reddit's philosophy channel: reddit.com/r/philosophy/comments/3jp9w6/…
    – nir
    Commented Sep 5, 2015 at 10:50

1 Answer 1


Given that James wrote that:

I originally studied medicine in order to be a physiologist; but I drifted into physchology and philosophy through a kind of fatality; I never had any kind of philosophic instruction, the first lecture on psychology I heard was the first I gave. [1]

This is probably something of an exaggeration given that his father was a noted Swedenbergonian theologian, and was well connected to the intellectual and literary elites; it's likely his philosophical orientation was fixed in an unconscious kind of way through his families milieu and circle.

[1] The thought and character of William James, Vol 1 - Ralph Perry

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