Should We Believe Beyond Evide
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|Should We Believe Beyond Evide
This section provides us with two selections from the essays of William K. Clifford (1845-1879) and William James (1842-1910). Clifford's essay, The Ethics of Belief, is based on the concept of evidentialism. This concept 'holds that we should not accept any statement as true unless we have good evidence to support its truth'; (Voices of Wisdom, 346). James wrote his essay, The Will to Believe, as a response to Clifford's essay where he endorsed a philosophy called pragmatism.
Pragmatism is described in the book as a method for settling philosophical disputes. It is based on the pragmatic theory of truth. This theory says that a 'proposition p is true if and only if the belief that 'p is true' works'; (Voices of Wisdom, 346). In order to get a better understanding of the pragmatic theory of truth, the theory is contrasted against two other theories, the correspondence theory of truth and the coherence theory of truth. James disagreed with these th...
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