European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):647-662 (2018)

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Abstract
This paper explicates and defends some of William James' more controversial claims in ‘The Will to Believe’. After showing some of the weaknesses in standard interpretations of James' position, I turn to James' Principles of Psychology and The Varieties of Religious Experience to spell out in more detail James' account of the nature of the attitudes of belief, doubt, and disbelief and link them to an account of the subject. In so doing, the moral force of the argument comes to the fore by casting the question ‘Can we believe at will?’ in a new light. Through a discussion of the conversion experiences of The Varieties of Religious Experience and the kinds of self-transformations in which beliefs that once appeared dead become live that appear throughout James' psychology, the moral urgency of James' position in ‘The Will to Believe’ is clarified.
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Reprint years 2017, 2018
DOI 10.1111/ejop.12296
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References found in this work BETA

Tractatus logico-philosophicus.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1922 - Filosoficky Casopis 52:336-341.
Philosophy and Social Hope.Richard Rorty - 1999 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 58 (3):714-716.
Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkte.F. Brentano - 1876 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 1:209-213.
The varieties of religious experience. A Study in human Nature.William James - 1902 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 54:516-527.

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Citations of this work BETA

Learning From Fiction to Change Our Personal Narratives.Andrew J. Corsa - 2021 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 21 (61):93-109.

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