will to believe


will to believe
Term coined by James in a lecture of the same name (1896) for the claim that he associated with pragmatism, that what we believe may be determined not just by evidence, but by the utility of the resulting states of mind. It thus becomes legitimate to believe in free will or to believe in God, because such states of mind have beneficial effects on the believer. The doctrine caused outrage from the beginning. See also Pascal's wager.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Will to believe doctrine — The Will to Believe is the title of William James s classic lecture (published in 1897) defending the adoption of beliefs as hypotheses and self fulfilling prophecies even without prior evidence of their truth. James idea that people have a right …   Wikipedia

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  • Will (philosophy) — Will, or willpower, is a philosophical concept that is defined in several different ways.Will as internal driveNietzsche defines will similarly to the any internally motivated action usage, but more narrowly. In this sense, will is more a… …   Wikipedia

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