Essay on william james

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Essay on william james

Pierce Society 42 no. Specifically, that our two fundamental duties as believers are to believe truth and avoid falsehood. James then goes on to partially agree with Clifford that at least ordinarily when someone believes upon insufficient evidence, he is irrational.

Where James disagrees with Clifford is on whether believing upon insufficient evidence always involves violating our duty to avoid false belief.

Specifically, James argues that there exist beliefs for which the evidence of their truth if they were true would only become available after we believed them and, therefore, waiting to believe until we had sufficient evidence would be a self-defeating wait.

To illustrate with an example, suppose that you have just finished medical school and that you are trying to decide whether to join a research team working to discover a cure for cancer. Now, to make such a substantial commitment to the search for a cure, James would argue that you must believe that a cure exists to be found.

At the very least, most people would need such a belief to sustain them during the times in which their research was going poorly.

Therefore, a belief in the existence of a cure for cancer is a belief for which the evidence of its truth if it is true only becomes available after we believe a cure exists. While this would seem to justify religious belief only for those who make a career of religious research, James argues that religious belief is justified even for ordinary believers in virtue of the peculiar way its evidence depends upon their belief.

Religious history proves that one hypothesis after another has worked ill, has crumbled at contact with a widening knowledge of the world, and has lapsed from the minds of men. Some articles of faith, however, have maintained themselves through every vicissitude, and possess even more vitality to-day than ever before […].

It is not rational to have religious belief without sufficient evidence if and only if having religious belief without sufficient evidence violates our duty to avoid false belief. Having religious belief without sufficient evidence violates our duty to avoid false belief if and only if I could withhold religious belief for the purpose of waiting until I had sufficient evidence.

If it is not rational to have religious belief without sufficient evidence, then having religious belief without sufficient evidence violates our duty to avoid false belief equivalence, simplification, P1.

If having religious belief without sufficient evidence violates our duty to avoid false belief, then I could withhold religious belief for the purpose of waiting until I had sufficient evidence equivalence, simplification, P2.

If it is not rational to have religious belief without sufficient evidence, then I could withhold religious belief for the purpose of waiting until I had sufficient evidence hypothetical syllogism, C1, C2.

Essay on william james

Access to the evidence for religious belief requires already having religious belief. If access to the evidence for religious belief requires already having religious belief, then I cannot withhold belief for the purpose of waiting until I had sufficient evidence.

I cannot withhold religious belief for the purpose of waiting until I had sufficient evidence. It is rational to have religious belief without sufficient evidence modus tollens, C3, C4.William James: pragmatism and belief Essay.

William james: pragmatism and belief William James’ lecture The Will to Believe defends the notion of belief without the necessary presence of evidence in determining its truth and validity - William James: pragmatism and belief Essay introduction. William James Basie's Biography - William James Basie's Biography During the heyday of the swing era, many big bands flourished.

Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Glen Miller, and Chick Webb fronted big bands that could swing, but none of these legends could swing like the Count Basie Orchestra. Born in New York City on January 11, , William James was the oldest of the five children of Henry James, Sr., and Mary Walsh James.

His oldest brother, Henry James, Jr., the renowned writer of fiction, was followed by two other brothers and a sister. The family frequently moved between. William James () William James was born on January 11, in New York City.

Essay on william james

His father, Henry James Sr. was a Swednborgian theologian, and one of his brothers was the great novelist Henry James. William James Essay Born into a wealthy family of intellectual giants (the novelist Henry James was his brother) and educated both in Europe and at Harvard, William James is regarded as the founding father of American psychology.

William James William James research papers examine the American philosopher, physician and psychologist, one of the first major proponents of the school of pragmatism and the first American professor of psychology.

William James on Free Will - Sample Essays