William James' <i>The Principles of Psychology, Volume One</i> is an epic work in the field of psychology and one of the most well known books of the discipline. James was a philosopher and psychologist who spent most of his adult life employed by Harvard University, where he developed and taught some of the most influential psychological theories of the time.<br><br>The book opens with an analysis of the functions of the brain and a discussion of the scope of psychology. From there, James' focus is primarily on the localization of functions within the brain, or how specific parts of the brain act as neural centres for the human body's senses. James relies on a comparative method in which humans are compared to other animals, and the importance of instincts in shaping the actions of man are discussed in detail.<br><br>The primary value in reading the work of William James is to absorb the author's ability to contextualize psychology. Much of what is known about psychology today is a direct result of the foundation laid by James. If one wants truly to understand the present, it is important to understand the past.<br><br><i>The Principles of Psychology, Volume One</i> is rightly considered a masterpiece. For the experienced student of psychology, this book is an absolute must-read. It is a work that begs to be meditated upon and will surely ruminate in your consciousness long after you turn the last page. A true classic.