Philosophical Forum 32 (3):253–263 (2001)

In 'The Divided Self of William James', Richard Gale contends that throughout James's work there is a clash between his Promethean self (with its emphasis on pragmatic, morally strenuous, melioristic activity) and his mystical self (with its passive, quietest, I-Thou quest for intimacy). Part of the case that Gale develops rests on his analysis of what he identifies as "James's most distinctive and influential doctrine," the will to believe. I argue that Gale's interpretation of the "will to believe" is problematic and that a more adequate account of this doctrine allows us to recognize that James's quest for intimacy and his emphasis on moral endeavor are complementary rather than in conflict
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DOI 10.1111/0031-806X.00064
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