The Routledge Guidebook to James’s Principles of Psychology is an engaging and accessible introduction to a monumental text that has influenced the development of both psychological science and philosophical pragmatism in important and lasting ways. Written for readers approaching William James’s classic work for the first time as well as for those without knowledge of its entire scope, this guidebook not only places this work within its historical context, it provides clear explications of its intertwined aspects and arguments, and examines its relevance within today’s psychology and philosophy.

Offering a close reading of this text, The Routledge Guidebook to James’s Principles of Psychology is divided into three main parts:

• Background

• Principles

• Elaborations.

It also includes two useful appendices that outline the sources of James’s various chapters and indicate the parallel coverages of two later texts written by James, an abbreviated version of his Principles and a psychological primer for teachers. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand this influential work.

part I|49 pages


chapter 1|11 pages

Life and work

chapter 2|12 pages

Substance and style

chapter 3|12 pages

Evidence and interpretation

chapter 4|12 pages

Psychology and philosophy

part II|205 pages


chapter 5|20 pages

Mind and body

chapter 6|21 pages

Habit and thought

chapter 7|30 pages

Perception and conception

chapter 8|21 pages

Imagination and memory

chapter 9|28 pages

Cognition and emotion

chapter 10|32 pages

Consciousness and subconsciousness

chapter 11|23 pages

Attention and will

chapter 12|28 pages

Self and others

part III|75 pages


chapter 13|18 pages

Belief and reality

chapter 14|12 pages

Known and unknown

chapter 15|16 pages

Publication and beyond

chapter 16|27 pages

Epilogue and prologue