This chapter reviews William James’s personal life (1842–1910) in the context of his times and the work that he did in psychology and philosophy. It also reviews various influences upon the emergence of “the new psychology,” as represented by James’s Principles of Psychology (1890), including the development of other sciences, the impact of the transcendentalist movement, concerns aroused by the Civil War, interest in altered states of consciousness, the process of professionalization, the rise of progressivism, and changes in higher education.