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The son of Lord Darnley and Mary Queen of Scots, James succeeded to the Scottish throne on the forced abdication of his mother.
James considered an alliance with his mothers French relatives, the Guise, but in 1586, to improve his prospects of succeeding to the English throne, he allied himself with Elizabeth I. This caused a break with his mothers party, and he accepted her execution in 1587 calmly.
James, by clever politics and armed force, succeeded in subduing the feudal Scottish baronage, in establishing royal authority, and in asserting the superiority of the state over the Presbyterian Church.
He was appointed instructor in physiology for the spring 1873 term, instructor in anatomy and physiology in 1873, assistant professor of psychology in 1876, assistant professor of philosophy in 1881, full professor in 1885, endowed chair in psychology in 1889, return to philosophy in 1897, and emeritus professor of philosophy in 1907.
James studied medicine, physiology, and biology, and began to teach in those subjects, but was drawn to the scientific study of the human mind at a time when psychology was constituting itself as a science.
James is one of the two namesakes of the James-Lange theory of emotion, which he formulated independently of Carl Lange in the 1880s.
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