William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist who was also trained as a physician. The first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States, James was one of the leading thinkers of the late nineteenth century and is believed by many to be one of the most influential philosophers the United States has ever produced, while others have labelled him the "Father of American psychology". Along with Charles Sanders Peirce and John Dewey, he is considered to be one of the greatest figures associated with the philosophical school known as pragmatism, and is also cited as one of the founders of functional psychology. He also developed the philosophical perspective known as radical empiricism. James' work has influenced intellectuals such as Émile Durkheim, W. E. B. Du Bois, Edmund Husserl, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Hilary Putnam, and Richard Rorty.
Born into a wealthy family, James was the son of the Swedenborgian theologian Henry James Sr and the brother of both the prominent novelist Henry James, and the diarist Alice James. James wrote widely on many topics, including epistemology, education, metaphysics, psychology, religion, and mysticism. Among his most influential books are Principles of Psychology, which was a groundbreaking text in the field of psychology, Essays in Radical Empiricism, an important text in philosophy, and The Varieties of Religious Experience, which investigated different forms of religious experience, which also included the then theories on Mind cure
Immanuel Kant (/kænt/; German: [ɪˈmaːnu̯eːl kant]; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher who is widely considered to be a central figure of modern philosophy. He argued that fundamental concepts structure human experience, and that reason is the source of morality. His thought continues to have a major influence in contemporary thought, especially the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics.
Kant's major work, the Critique of Pure Reason (Kritik der reinen Vernunft, 1781), aimed to explain the relationship between reason and human experience. With this project, he hoped to move beyond what he took to be failures of traditional philosophy and metaphysics. He attempted to put an end to what he considered an era of futile and speculative theories of human experience, while resisting the skepticism of thinkers such as David Hume.
Kant argued that our experiences are structured by necessary features of our minds. In his view, the mind shapes and structures experience so that, on an abstract level, all human experience shares certain essential structural features. Among other things, Kant believed that the concepts of space and time are integral to all human experience, as are our concepts of cause and effect. One important consequence of this view is that one never has direct experience of things, the so-called noumenal world, and that what we do experience is the phenomenal world as conveyed by our senses. These claims summarize Kant's views upon the subject–object problem. Kant published other important works on ethics, religion, law, aesthetics, astronomy, and history. These included the Critique of Practical Reason (Kritik der praktischen Vernunft, 1788), the Metaphysics of Morals (Die Metaphysik der Sitten, 1797), which dealt with ethics, and the Critique of Judgment (Kritik der Urteilskraft, 1790), which looks at aesthetics and teleology.
Kant aimed to resolve disputes between empirical and rationalist approaches. The former asserted that all knowledge comes through experience; the latter maintained that reason and innate ideas were prior. Kant argued that experience is purely subjective without first being processed by pure reason. He also said that using reason without applying it to experience only leads to theoretical illusions. The free and proper exercise of reason by the individual was a theme both of the Age of Enlightenment, and of Kant's approaches to the various problems of philosophy. His ideas influenced many thinkers in Germany during his lifetime, and he moved philosophy beyond the debate between the rationalists and empiricists. Kant is seen as a major figure in the history and development of philosophy.
Franz Liszt, (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) ; from 1859 to 1867 officially Franz Ritter von Liszt, was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, teacher and Franciscan tertiary.
Liszt gained renown in Europe during the early nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age, and in the 1840s he was considered to be the greatest pianist of all time. Liszt was also a well-known and influential composer, piano teacher and conductor. He was a benefactor to other composers, including Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edvard Grieg and Alexander Borodin.
As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the "Neudeutsche Schule" ("New German School"). He left behind an extensive and diverse body of work in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form and making radical departures in harmony. He also played an important role in popularizing a wide array of music by transcribing it for piano.
Vaslav Nijinsky (12 March 1889[/1890 – 8 April 1950) was a Russian ballet dancer and choreographer of Polish descent, cited as the greatest male dancer of the early 20th century. He grew to be celebrated for his virtuosity and for the depth and intensity of his characterizations. He could perform en pointe, a rare skill among male dancers at the time and his ability to perform seemingly gravity-defying leaps was legendary.
Nijinsky was introduced to dance by his parents, who were senior dancers with the travelling Setov opera company and his early childhood was spent touring with the company. Aged 9 he joined the Imperial Ballet School in St Petersburg, the pre-eminent ballet school in the world. In 1907 he graduated and became a member of the Imperial ballet starting at the rank of coryphée instead of in the corps de ballet, already taking starring roles. The choreographer and dancer Bronislava Nijinska was his sister and worked with him much of his career.
In 1909 he joined the Ballets Russes, a new ballet company started by Sergei Diaghilev which planned to show Russian ballets in Paris, where productions of the quality staged by the Imperial ballet simply did not exist. Nijinsky became the company's star male dancer, causing an enormous stir amongst audiences whenever he performed, although in ordinary life he appeared unremarkable and even boring to meet. Diaghilev and Nijinsky became lovers, and although Nijinsky had unparalleled ability, it was the publicity and opportunity provided by Diaghilev's company which made him internationally famous. In 1912 Nijinsky began choreographing his own ballets, including L'après-midi d'un faune (1912), Jeux (1913), and Till Eulenspiegel (1916). At the premier of Le Sacre du Printemps (1913) fights broke out in the audience between those who loved and hated a totally new style of ballet. Faune frequently caused controversy because of its sexually suggestive final scene. Jeux was originally conceived as a flirtatious interaction between three males, although Diaghilev insisted it be danced by one male and two females.
In 1913 Nijinsky married Hungarian Romola de Pulszky while on tour with the company in South America. She had seen the Ballets Russes perform in 1912 and thereafter 'stalked' the company and Nijinsky. Nonetheless, no one was more surprised than she was when Nijinsky asked her to marry him, in broken French since neither was fluent in the same language. The marriage caused an immediate break with Diaghilev, who dismissed Nijinsky from the company. With no alternative employer available, he attempted to form his own company but this was not a success. He was interned in Hungary during World War I under house arrest until 1916, finally being allowed to leave after intervention by Diaghilev, who wanted him to perform in an American tour, and supported by calls for his release from Alfonso XIII of Spain and President Wilson at the urging of Otto Kahn.
Nijinsky became increasingly mentally unstable with the stresses of having to manage tours himself and deprived of opportunities to dance, which had always been his total obsession. After a tour of South America in 1917, and due to travel difficulties imposed by the war, the family settled in Switzerland, where his mental condition continued to deteriorate. The rest of his life was spent suffering from mental illness which incapacitated him beyond the ability to dance again in public.
John Thomas Underwood (April 12, 1857 in London, England - July 2, 1937 in Osterville, Massachusetts) was an American entrepreneur and inventor who founded the Underwood Typewriter Company. The Underwood Typewriter Company was a manufacturer of typewriters headquartered in New York City, New York. Underwood produced what is considered the first widely successful, modern typewriter. By 1939, Underwood had produced five million machines.
He was the elder brother of missionary Horace Grant Underwood, and helped finance Horace's missionary work.
John and his two sisters, Hannah Underwood Stephens and Helen Underwood Conard, and his brother, the Rev. Dr. Horace Grant Underwood, were all born in London. Their father, Thomas Underwood, operated an ink business in England and then moved to New Jersey. John met the typewriter inventor, bought the business from him, and founded the Underwood Typewriter Co. He set the office up in Manhattan and moved to Brooklyn where he and his wife, Grace, and their daughter, Gladys, lived at 336 Washington Avenue. He supported his brother Horace, who was one of the early missionaries to Korea, starting in 1887. John was active in Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn. This where the Rev. Dr. Frank L. Gosnell was assigned for student ministry while attending Union Theological Seminary in NY and met Helen Evelyn Conard.
Underwood became a successful entrepreneur. His typewriters were even used at the Imperial Court in Vienna. He was made an official Purveyor to the Imperial and Royal Court by emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria.
Underwood died in "Blink Bonnie", his summer home in Wianno, MA, on Cape Cod, and was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. The site of Underwood's mansion in Clinton Hill was donated by his widow and daughter to the borough of Brooklyn as a public park, named in his honour.
From 1874 the Underwood family made typewriter ribbon and carbon paper, and were among a number of firms who produced these goods for Remington. When Remington decided to start producing ribbons themselves, the Underwoods decided to get into the business of manufacturing typewriters.
The original Underwood typewriter was invented by German-American Franz Xaver Wagner, who showed it to entrepreneur John Thomas Underwood. Underwood supported Wagner and bought the company, recognising the importance of the machine. Underwood No. 1 and No. 2s, made between 1896 and 1900, had "Wagner Typewriter Co." printed on the back.
The Underwood No. 5 launched in 1900 has been described as "the first truly modern typewriter". Two million had been sold by the early 1920s, and its sales “were equal in quantity to all of the other firms in the typewriter industry combined”. When the company was in its heyday as the world's largest typewriter manufacturer, its factory at Hartford, Connecticut was turning out typewriters at the rate of one each minute.