Study Guide

The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America - Part 2, Chapter 6 Brazil, Section 1 Summary & Analysis

Louis Menand
This Study Guide consists of approximately 79 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Metaphysical Club.
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Part 2, Chapter 6 Brazil, Section 1 Summary

In 1861, William James was introduced to Louis Agassiz while attending lectures Agassiz was giving on the "methods of study in Natural History." He liked Agassiz' presentation so much, that the following year, he changed his course of study from Chemistry to Natural History and Biology. By 1864, however, he had changed his mind again, and enrolled in Harvard Medical School.

Agassiz planned a research trip to Brazil in 1865 to find proof that the Ice Age went down into South America. He recruited students for the yearlong expedition, and William James signed up immediately. The official name of the Expedition was the Thayer Expedition and it was to research the Ice Age in South America, counter the Confederate influence in South America and open the market for trade. The expedition lasted a total of sixteen months.

Though many believed...

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