Study Guide

The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America - Study Guide Part 2, Chapter 4 The Man of Two Minds, Section 1 Summary & Analysis

Louis Menand
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William James spent his life changing his mind. He would want to be a scientist and then an artist, and bounce back again to science. When the Civil War began, he spent 90 days with the Newport Artillery Company, but spent the rest of the war studying medicine at Harvard. This was to be the only educational program he ever completed. He never practiced medicine; instead, he taught physiology, then experimental psychology, and finally philosophy.

His family was of wealthy Irish descent on both sides. William and his father, Henry James Sr., did not have similar views and did not get along. Many people thought that the main reason William and Henry did not enlist was because their father would not let them. He viewed the two oldest sons as more talented than his...

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This section contains 440 words
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