Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Pragmatism with PurposeSelected Writings$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Peter Hare, Joseph Palencik, Douglas Anderson, and Steven A. Miller

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264322

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264322.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 01 August 2021

The Right and Duty to Will to Believe

The Right and Duty to Will to Believe

(p.31) One The Right and Duty to Will to Believe
Pragmatism with Purpose

Peter Kauber

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines the right and duty to will to believe, with particular emphasis on William James's work to show how a more robust ethics of belief is possible. At various points in the development of James's ethics of belief, we encounter such expressions as “duty to believe,” “will to believe,” and “right to believe.” Many commentators have suggested that the expressions “duty to believe” and “will to believe” were retracted by James, under the critical assault of his contemporaries. This chapter rejects that notion and suggests that there are in fact good Jamesian arguments for the retention of the expressions “duty to believe” and “will to believe.” It also discusses the implications of keeping the notions named by these expressions for overbelief. Finally, it proposes a terminology for use in future considerations both of James's ethics of belief and of the ethics of belief more generally.

Keywords:   will to believe, William James, ethics of belief, duty to believe, right to believe, overbelief

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .