Analysis of cliffords the ethics of

The Will to Believe

I may never actually verify it, or even see any experiment which goes towards verifying it; but still I have quite reason enough to justify me in believing that the verification is within the reach of human appliances and powers, and in particular that it has been actually performed by my informant.

He may be critical of many of his desires and fears, but this fear he slavishly obeys. Although it may indeed happen that when we believe the truth A, we escape as an incidental consequence from believing the falsehood B, it hardly ever happens that by merely disbelieving B we necessarily believe A.

Are we to deprive ourselves of the help and guidance of that vast body of knowledge which is daily growing upon the world, because neither we nor any other one person can possibly test a hundredth part of it by immediate experiment or Analysis of cliffords the ethics of, and because it would not be completely proved if we did?

Both cannot be infallibly inspired; one or other must have been the victim of a delusion, and thought he knew that which he really did not know. Whether the medicine was propitiated or not there are no means of verifying, but the cattle are gone. Still the belief may be kept up in the tribe that propitiation has been effected in this way; and in a later generation it will be all the easier for another medicine-man to persuade them to a similar act.

There is no practical danger that such consequences will ever follow from scrupulous care and self-control in the matter of belief. He may quite honestly believe that this statement is a fair inference from his experiments, but in that case his judgment is at fault.

That is, James here seems to reject doxastic voluntarism"the philosophical doctrine according to which people have voluntary control over their beliefs".

In order that we may have the right to accept his testimony as ground for believing what he says, we must have reasonable grounds for trusting his veracity, that he is really trying to speak the truth so far as he knows it; his knowledge, that he has had opportunities of knowing the truth about this matter; and his judgment, that he has made proper use of those opportunities in coming to the conclusion which he affirms.

Not only have individual saints found joy and peace in believing, and verified those spiritual experiences which are promised to the faithful, but nations also have been raised from savagery or barbarism to a higher social state. First, no doubt, we should be tempted to take exception against his view of the character of the Prophet and the uniformly beneficial influence of Islam: This great fabric is for the guidance of our thoughts, and through them of our actions, both in the moral and in the material world.

The rule which should guide us in such cases is simple and obvious enough: Schiller in his lengthy essay "Axioms as Postulates". First appearing as "the duty to believe", then "the subjective method", then "the will to believe", it was finally recast by James as "the right to believe". Objection 2 warrants further discussion over "voluntarism".

Who shall dare to say which? And I have reasonable ground for supposing that he knows the truth of what he is saying, for although I am no chemist, I can be made to understand so much of the methods and processes of the science as makes it conceivable to me that, without ceasing to be man, I might verify the statement."The Will to Believe" is a lecture by William James, first published inwhich defends, in certain cases, the adoption of a belief without prior evidence of its truth.

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31 Dec - Public Reply to Barry Ryder 31 Dec - Local History: Chingford Road Pool). Thanks Barry, now that you mention it, I seem to remember there being a fire late in '66 which started in the cafe and caused one of the observation windows to break, shutting the pool for a while.

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About the Text of the printed book. The text of William Kingdon Clifford’s “The Ethics of Belief” is based upon the first edition of Lectures and Essays, Macmillan and Co.,edited by Leslie Stephen and Frederick mi-centre.com text of William James’ “The Will to Believe” is based upon the first edition of The Will to Believe and other essays in .

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Analysis of cliffords the ethics of
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