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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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The Strata of the Passional

The Strata of the Passional

(p.92) 7 The Strata of the Passional
William James on the Courage to Believe

Robert J. O'Connell

Fordham University Press

This chapter explores what William James has written about the various strata of the passional, and suggests ways in which his central thesis can be salvaged from the shipwreck of epistemological irresponsibility. James points out that, between one person and another, there are varieties of the passional nature: there are different temperaments, mental tempers, emotional constitutions, and they guide the “whole man” to “insist upon being spoken to by the universe” in some particular key. These differences in people's individual passional natures, in other words, prod them toward different attributions of interest and importance, and therefore toward different over-beliefs.

Keywords:   William James, passional natures, epistemological responsibility, temperaments, mental tempers, emotional constitutions, over-beliefs

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