Description : Philosopher William James posits pragmatic grounds for religious belief and moral action in these ten essays, published together in 1897.
Description : Two books bound together, from religious period of one of the most renowned and representative thinkers. Illuminations of age-old religious questions from a pragmatic perspective, written in a luminous style.
Description : In 1896 William James published an essay entitled The Will to Believe, in which he defended the legitimacy of religious faith against the attacks of such champions of scientific method as W.K. Clifford and Thomas Huxley. James's work quickly became one of the most important writings in the philosophy of religious belief. James Wernham analyses James's arguments, discusses his relation to Pascal and Renouvier, and considers the interpretations, and misinterpretations, of James's major critics. Wernham shows convincingly that James was unaware of many destructive ambiguitities in his own doctrines and arguments, although clear and consistent in his view that our obligation to believe in theism is not a moral but a prudential obligation -- a foolish-not-to-believe doctrine, rather than a not-immoral-to-believe one. Wernham also shows that the doctrine is best read as affirming the wisdom of gambling that God exists, a notion which James failed to distinguish from believing and which, among other things, he explicitly identified with faith. James's pragmatism, a theory concerning the meaning of truth, is shown to be quite distinct from the doctrine of The Will to Believe. In concentrating on a careful analysis of this doctrine of the will-to-believe, Wernham not only makes a major contribution to understanding James's philosophy, but also clarifies issues in the philosophy of religion and in the analysis of belief and faith.
Description : Work on the norms of belief in epistemology regularly starts with two touchstone essays: W.K. Clifford's "The Ethics of Belief" and William James's "The Will to Believe." Discussing the central themes from these seminal essays, Evidentialism and the Will to Believe explores the history of the ideas governing evidentialism. As well as Clifford's argument from the examples of the shipowner, the consequences of credulity and his defence against skepticism, this book tackles James's conditions for a genuine option and the structure of the will to believe case as a counter-example to Clifford's evidentialism. Exploring the question of whether James's case successfully counters Clifford's evidentialist rule for belief, this study captures the debate between those who hold that one should proportion belief to evidence and those who hold that the evidentialist norm is too restrictive. More than a sustained explication of the essays, it also surveys recent epistemological arguments to evidentialism. But it is by bringing Clifford and James into fruitful conversation for the first time that this study presents a clearer history of the issues and provides an important reconstruction of the notion of evidence in contemporary epistemology.
Description : Wilson and his contemporaries engaged in a wide-ranging debate about the fundamental character of American national security in the modern world. This book examines that debate in full. It offers detailed analysis of how US political leaders and opinion makers conceptualized and pursued national security from 1914 to 1920.
Description : A Will to Believe is a revised version of Kastan's 2008 Oxford Wells Shakespeare Lectures, providing a provocative account of the ways in which religion animates Shakespeare's plays.
Description : General Books publication date: 2009 Original publication date: 1911 Original Publisher: Longmans, Green, and co. Subjects: Philosophy Belief and doubt Literary Criticism / General Philosophy / General Philosophy / Epistemology Philosophy / History