History of Philosophy Quarterly 20 (1):103 - 121 (2003)

Ruth Weintraub
Tel Aviv University
William James’ declared intention is to oppose Clifford’s claim that it “is wrong always, everywhere, and for every one, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence”. But I argue that he is confused about his doxastic prescriptions. He isn’t primarily concerned, as he thinks he is, with the legitimacy of belief in the absence of sufficient evidence. The most important contribution of his essay is a suggestion - a highly insightful and contentious one - as to what it is to believe in accordance with the evidence.
Keywords rational  belief  fideism  William James
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