William James (1842-1910) died one hundred years ago this last month. My study of his life and work has been a liberal education worthy of Stetson’s mission.
His career spans the arts and sciences. He resolved first to be a painter, beginning at age eighteen in the art studio of William Morris Hunt. He had a strong avocational appetite for literature that began with his friendship with his brother, the novelist Henry James, and continued his whole life, with frequent literary references and abundant lively correspondence with writers. And he had a strong interest in spirituality…and which he used to understand the relation of science and religion, and to address the limits of their institutional forms.