Book Cover
Author O'Connell, Robert J.

Title William James on the courage to believe / Robert J. O'Connell
Edition Second edition
Published New York : Fordham University Press, 1997
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Description 1 online resource (x, 223 pages)
Series American philosophy series ; no. 8
American philosophy series ; no. 8
Contents 1. The Argument of "The Will to Believe" -- 2. On Matter and Manner -- 3. James and Pascal -- 4. Is It "Wishful Thinking"? -- 5. Outcomes and Over-beliefs -- 6. The Precursive Force of Over-beliefs -- 7. The Strata of the Passional -- 8. The Metaphors of Belief -- Epilogue: On Becoming Humanly Wise -- App. A. "The Will to Believe" and James's "Deontological Streak" -- App. B. Faith and Facts in James's "Will to Believe" -- App. C. James's Voluntarism: Readiness, Willingness, or Will to Believe?
Summary William James's celebrated lecture on "The Will to Believe" has kindled spirited controversy since the day it was delivered. In this lively reappraisal of that controversy, Father O'Connell contributes some fresh contentions: that James's argument should be viewed against his indebtedness to Pascal and Renouvier; that it works primarily to validate our "over-beliefs"; and most surprising perhaps, that James envisages our "passional nature" as intervening, not after, but before and throughout, our intellectual weighting of the evidence for belief. For this second edition, Father O'Connell has added extensively to sharpen his arguments: that James's "deontological streak" saves him from "wishful thinking" and weaves together the attitudes of right, readiness, willingness, and will to believe, and that "willing faith" lends "the facts" their aura of believability
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002. MiAaHDL
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Print version record
Subject James, William, 1842-1910. Will to believe
Belief and doubt.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0585171343 (electronic bk.)
9780585171340 (electronic bk.)