William James on belief: Turning darwinism against empiricistic skepticism

William James is remembered for challenging empiricistic skepticism by expounding a more encompassing "radical empiricism." Strangely, he is not much noted for applying the same strategy to Darwinism, yet this is what he does. He extends the thinking by which Darwinism holds that independent factors are responsible for generating and selecting variations. He assimilates it into his investigations of mind. With its aid, he brokers a concept of consciousness as a "selecting agency" that forms a cornerstone in his philosophy, his psychology, and his lifelong campaign against mainstream empiricism.At first blush, this thesis might seem highly speculative, for only occasionally does James explicitly describe his ..
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DOI 10.2979/tra.2010.46.3.477
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Max Carl Otto (ed.) (1942). William James. Madison, the University of Wisconsin Press.

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