JAMES, William.

The Principles of Psychology.

New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1890 Stock Code: 141538

"The foundation of the American school of experimental psychology"

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First edition, second printing, of the American philosopher and psychologist's most influential work and "the foundation of the American school of experimental psychology" (Garrison-Morton).

Influenced by his European counterpart and contemporary Wilhelm Wundt, William James (1842-1910) viewed psychology as an experimental science based on physiology: this, his masterwork, contains early statements of his main philosophical ideas such as "stream of consciousness". He founded the earliest laboratory for the study of experimental psychology in America and is considered a leader of both the philosophical movement of Pragmatism and of the psychological movement of functionalism.

In the first printing the book's title in the advertisement opposite the title page reads as "Psy-chology"; the hyphen is removed in the second. In addition, two errors in the contents of the first printing are corrected: "the seat of intellectual power" is changed to "not the sole seat of intellect" (vol. 1, p. 10, l. 9-10) and "object of some absent object of sensation" is amended to "object of some absent sensation" (vol. 2, p. 101, l. 20).

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2 volumes, octavo. Original brown cloth, spines lettered in gilt, covers ruled in blind, pale blue endpapers.


Diagrams throughout.


Spine ends and corners lightly rubbed and bumped, tiny indent to each spine, cloth generally clean, early ownership signature and bookseller's ticket of H. K. Lewis & Co. of London, who specialised in medical and scientific books, to front pastedowns, endpapers faintly foxed, the occasional pencil mark to contents, else bright. Vol. 1: a few nicked and creased fore edges, book block cracked between pp. 3-4, neatly strengthened with white cloth. Vol. 2: tips of some leaves creased. Overall a very good copy in the original cloth.


Garrison-Morton 4977.2; Horblit 100b; Norman 1153.


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