David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Social Epistemology 20 (1):19 – 33 (2006)
In this paper I discuss William J. Clifford's principle, "It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence" and an objection to it based on William James's contention that "Our passional nature not only lawfully may, but must, decide an option between propositions, whenever it is a genuine option that cannot by its nature be decided on intellectual grounds." I argue that on one central way of understanding the key terms, there are no genuine options that cannot be decided on intellectual grounds. I also argue that there is another way to understand the terms so that there are cases of the sort James describes, but then, as an objection to Clifford, the argument is needlessly complex, invoking concepts such as genuine options and intellectual undecidability, that play no crucial role.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Michael Pace (2011). The Epistemic Value of Moral Considerations: Justification, Moral Encroachment, and James' 'Will To Believe'. Noûs 45 (2):239-268.
John Zeis (2010). Evidentialism Versus Faith. Social Epistemology 24 (1):1 – 13.
Similar books and articles
Richard M. Gale (2006). Comments on the Will to Believe. Social Epistemology 20 (1):35 – 39.
Michael Lopresto (2011). The Ethics of Belief. Emergent Australasian Philosophers (4):9.
Brian Zamulinski (2002). A Re-Evaluation of Clifford and His Critics. Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):437-457.
John Woods (2011). W. V. Quine's “Two Dogmas of Empiricism”. Topoi 30 (1):87-97.
Tim Madigan (2008). W.K. Clifford and 'the Ethics of Belief'. Cambridge Scholars.
Thomas McCarthy (1992). Doing the Right Thing in Cross-Cultural Representation:The Predicament of Culture. James Clifford; Writing Culture. James Clifford, George E. Marcus; Works and Lives. Clifford Geertz; Anthropology as Cultural Critique. George E. Marcus, Michael M. J. Fischer. [REVIEW] Ethics 102 (3):635-.
Jeff Kasser & Nishi Shah (2006). The Metaethics of Belief: An Expressivist Reading of "the Will to Believe&Quot;. Social Epistemology 20 (1):1 – 17.
Guy Axtell (2001). Teaching James's “The Will to Believe”. Teaching Philosophy 24 (4):325-345.
Stephen F. Barker (1999). James' “The Will To Believe”. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 1999:69-76.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads152 ( #5,715 of 1,101,812 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #41,591 of 1,101,812 )
How can I increase my downloads?