The Will to Believe, and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy

William James

The Will to Believe, and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy, by William James - click to see full size image

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This is a series of essays by American philosopher and psychologist William James. James' main argument in 'The Will to Believe' revolves around the notion that to access evidence regarding the truth of certain beliefs, one must initially adopt those beliefs without evidence. For instance, James asserts that it can be rational to have faith in one's own ability to complete tasks requiring confidence, even without evidence. Notably, James emphasizes that this principle applies to scientific inquiry as well. He further argues that, similar to belief in one's ability to tackle challenging tasks, religious faith can also be rational, even in the absence of evidence supporting the truth of that faith. Other essays in this collection are: Is Life Worth Living; The Sentiment of Rationality; Reflex Action and Theism; The Dilemma of Determinism; The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life; Great Men and their Environment; The Importance of Individuals; On some Hegelisms; and, What Psychical Research has Accomplished.

This book has 98,833 words, 141 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1912.

Production notes: This ebook of The Will to Believe, and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy was published by Global Grey on the 17th June 2024. The artwork used for the cover is 'Two pilgrims in front of a shrine' by Erasmus Engert.

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