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William James on the Courage to Believe$
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Robert J. O'Connell

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780823217274

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823217274.001.0001

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On Matter and Manner

On Matter and Manner

(p.23) 2 On Matter and Manner
William James on the Courage to Believe

Robert J. O'Connell

Fordham University Press

This chapter analyzes how seriously William James himself took his own lecture. Whether viewing him as a psychologist on a metaphysical holiday, or taking his occasional slips in expression and his general vivacity of spirit as indications of a cavalier or “sporting” attitude toward his topic, one will read his lecture out of an attitude and set of suppositions that may seriously affect not only one's evaluation, but the very understanding of James' argument. The chapter aims to place this lecture in James' overall philosophical effort, in order to display how seriously he meant it, and how seriously readers have a right to take it.

Keywords:   William James, lecture, psychologist, metaphysical holiday, suppositions, argument, philosophical effort

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