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  1. Kant’s Neglected Objection to the Ontological Argument.Michael R. Slater - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (2):179--184.
    This paper argues that Kant’s most famous objection to the ontological argument -- that existence is not a real predicate -- is not, in fact, his most effective objection, and that his ”neglected objection’ to the argument deserves to be better known. It shows that Kant clearly anticipates William Rowe’s later objection that the argument begs the question, and discusses why Kant himself seems to have overlooked the force of this criticism in his attempt to demolish the traditional proofs for (...)
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  2. Ethical Naturalism and Religious Belief in 'The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life.'.Michael R. Slater - 2007 - William James Studies 2.
    In this paper I offer a re-reading of "The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life," William James's most well known work on ethics. I show that while James defends a naturalistic account of the basis of morality in the essay, he also makes a practical argument for religious faith, one that closely connects the piece to such works as "The Will to Believe" and The Varieties of Religious Experience. After discussing some of the strengths and weaknesses of James's moral theory (...)
     
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  3. Pragmatism and the Philosophy of Religion.Michael R. Slater - 2014 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this book, Michael R. Slater provides a new assessment of pragmatist views in the philosophy of religion. Focusing on the tension between naturalist and anti-naturalist versions of pragmatism, he argues that the anti-naturalist religious views of philosophers such as William James and Charles Peirce provide a powerful alternative to the naturalism and secularism of later pragmatists such as John Dewey and Richard Rorty. Slater first examines the writings of the 'classical pragmatists' - James, Peirce, and Dewey - and argues (...)
     
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  4.  66
    Pragmatism, Realism, and Religion.Michael R. Slater - 2008 - Journal of Religious Ethics 36 (4):653-681.
    Pragmatism is often thought to be incompatible with realism, the view that there are knowable mind-independent facts, objects, or properties. In this article, I show that there are, in fact, realist versions of pragmatism and argue that a realist pragmatism of the right sort can make important contributions to such fields as religious ethics and philosophy of religion. Using William James's pragmatism as my primary example, I show (1) that James defended realist and pluralist views in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and (...)
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  5.  29
    William James on Ethics and Faith.Michael R. Slater - 2009 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book offers a new interpretation of William James's ethical and religious thought. Michael Slater shows that James's conception of morality, or what it means to lead a moral and flourishing life, is intimately tied to his conception of religious faith, and argues that James's views on these matters are worthy of our consideration. He offers a reassessment of James's 'will to believe' or 'right to believe' doctrine, his moral theory, and his neglected moral arguments for religious faith. And he (...)
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  6. William James on Ethics and Faith.Michael R. Slater - 2009 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book offers a new interpretation of William James's ethical and religious thought. Michael Slater shows that James's conception of morality, or what it means to lead a moral and flourishing life, is intimately tied to his conception of religious faith, and argues that James's views on these matters are worthy of our consideration. He offers a reassessment of James's 'will to believe' or 'right to believe' doctrine, his moral theory, and his neglected moral arguments for religious faith. And he (...)
     
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  7.  27
    William James’s Pluralism.Michael R. Slater - 2011 - Review of Metaphysics 65 (1):63-90.
    This essay examines one of the most important but understudied aspects of William James’s philosophy, his doctrine of pluralism. It aims to shed new light on the complex and sometimes ambiguous relationship between James’s pluralism and his doctrines of pragmatism and radical empiricism, and shows that his pluralism is a much more pervasive feature of his philosophy than has usually been thought. In particular, the essay shows that James was a pluralist not only in his metaphysical views, but also in (...)
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  8.  61
    Metaphysical Intimacy and the Moral Life: The Ethical Project of The Varieties of Religious Experience.Michael R. Slater - 2007 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 43 (1):116-153.
    This essay seeks to contribute to our understanding of William James's ethics by reexamining a classic text— The Varieties of Religious Experience—that is not usually read in an ethical light. It shows that James develops an ethics of human flourishing in Varieties, which he grounds in a "piecemeal supernaturalist" cosmology and account of human nature. It also shows that, under the terms of James's view, religious and ethical issues are fundamentally interconnected, and leading a religious life is a necessary (though (...)
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  9.  11
    Xunzi on Heaven, Ritual, and the Way.Michael R. Slater - 2018 - Philosophy East and West 68 (3):887-908.
    According to a dominant line of interpretation in recent Anglophone Xunzi scholarship, Xunzi conceived of Heaven along impersonal rather than personal lines, and regarded Heaven—together with Earth—roughly as the orderly and indifferent forces of Nature, as opposed to a deity who is aware of and takes an interest in the affairs of human beings; who rewards virtue and punishes vice; whose ways can be known through divination; and who can be propitiated through sacrifice.1 This general view of Xunzi's philosophy has (...)
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  10.  23
    William James in Focus: Willing to Believe by William J. Gavin, And: William James and the Art of Popular Statement by Paul Stob.Michael R. Slater - 2015 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 51 (2):271-275.
    William Gavin’s William James in Focus: Willing to Believe is a brief and creative introduction to James’s philosophy aimed at students and non-specialists. As the subtitle of the book suggests, Gavin uses James’s will to believe doctrine as the organizing theme for his interpretation of James’s philosophy. One might initially think that this implies reading the latter in the light of James’s views on religion, but Gavin downplays the religious aspects of James’s will to believe doctrine and focuses instead on (...)
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  11.  11
    Two Rival Interpretations of Xunzi's Views on the Basis of Morality.Michael R. Slater - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (2):363-379.
    This essay examines the textual evidence and arguments for two rival ways of interpreting Xunzi's accounts of the origins and normative bases of ritual and the Way: a human-centered line of interpretation which maintains that the moral order constituted by the Confucian Way and its ritual tradition was the artificial creation of a group of ancient sages, and a Heaven-centered line of interpretation which maintains, in contrast, that those same sages based the Confucian Way and its ritual tradition on a (...)
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  12.  20
    Pragmatism, Theism, and the Viability of Metaphysical Realism.Michael R. Slater - 2013 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 87 (3):379-395.
    In this essay I present two cases for what I term an “unobjectionable” or weak version of metaphysical realism, the first based on a commitment to a version of pragmatism, and the second based on a commitment to theism. I argue that it can be reasonable to accept such a version of realism even if there are no arguments that definitively prove its truth, and that both pragmatists and theists have good reasons to accept it. Although I conceive of these (...)
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  13.  29
    Metaphysical Intimacy and the Moral Life: The Ethical Project Of.Michael R. Slater - 2007 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 43 (1).
    : This essay seeks to contribute to our understanding of William James's ethics by reexamining a classic text—The Varieties of Religious Experience—that is not usually read in an ethical light. It shows that James develops an ethics of human flourishing in Varieties, which he grounds in a "piecemeal supernaturalist" cosmology and account of human nature. It also shows that, under the terms of James's view, religious and ethical issues are fundamentally interconnected, and leading a religious life is a necessary (though (...)
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  14.  19
    Reconsidering James’s Account of Religion.Michael R. Slater - 2014 - International Philosophical Quarterly 54 (2):191-210.
    This essay offers a re-assessment of William James’s methodological approach to religion and his theory of religion. It argues that, despite certain shortcomings, James’s views on these matters are both more complex and more credible than many of his critics allow. It also aims to shed new light on some neglected or poorly understood features of his views on religion.
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  15.  5
    Theology, Metaphysics, and Realism About Truth.Michael R. Slater - 2019 - Modern Theology 35 (2):244-267.
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  16.  13
    3 Virtue Ethics and the Chinese Confucian Tradition.C. Russell, Michael R. Slater, Michael Slote & David W. Tien - 2013 - In Daniel C. Russell (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Virtue Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
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  17.  3
    Responses to Aikin and Kasser.Michael R. Slater - 2013 - William James Studies 10 (1).
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  18.  15
    Review of Hans-Georg Moeller, The Moral Fool: A Case for Amorality[REVIEW]Michael R. Slater - 2010 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (2).
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