The Will to Believe and Human Immortality

The Will to Believe and Human Immortality

4.08 (472 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 8-13 business days.


Not ordering to the United States? Click here.

Description

This volume contains the complete texts of two books by America's most important psychologist and philosopher. Easy to understand, yet brilliant and penetrating, the books were written specifically for laymen and they are still stimulating reading for readers concerned with important questions of belief in an age of science.
In the essays, under the heading The Will to Believe, James discusses, first, the interrelationships of belief, will, and intellect, examining such questions as: How does man believe? How do intellectual considerations color belief? How much of a role do irrational elements play even in rigorously logical thought? Chance versus determinism, free will versus fate, pluralism versus monism are discussed in succeeding sections. James also covers psychical research, Hegelianism, and Spencer's philosophy.
Human Immortality: Two Supposed Objections to the Doctrine, reprinted here from the corrected second edition, examines the questions of survival after death, and provides an unusual philosophical rebuttal to the theory that thought and personality necessarily die with the brain.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 136 x 203 x 22.61mm | 435.45g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0486202917
  • 9780486202914
  • 81,351

Table of contents

THE WILL TO BELIEVE
Hypotheses and options
Pascal's wager
Clifford's veto
Psychological causes of belief
Thesis of the Essay
Empiricism and absolutism
Objective certitude and its unattainability
Two different sorts of risks in believing
Some risk unavoidable
Faith may bring forth its own verification
Logical conditions of religious belief
IS LIFE WORTH LIVING
Temperamental Optimism and Pessimism
How reconcile with life one bent on suicide?
Religious melancholy and its cure
Decay of Natural Theology
Instinctive antidotes to pessimism
Religion involves belief in an unseen extension of the world
Scientific positivism
Doubt actuates conduct as much as belief does
"To deny certain faiths is logically absurd, for they make their objects true"
Conclusion
THE SENTIMENT OF RATIONALITY
Rationality means fluent thinking
Simplification
Clearness
Their antagonism
Inadequacy of the abstract
The thought of nonentity
Mysticism
Pure theory cannot banish wonder
The passage to practice may restore the feeling of rationality
Familiarity and expectancy
Substance'
A rational world must appear congruous with our powers
But these differ from man to man
Faith is one of them
Inseparable from doubt
May verify itself
Its rôle in ethics
Optimism and pessimism
Is this a moral universe??what does the problem mean?
Anæsthesia versus energy
Active assumption necessary
Conclusion
REFLEX ACTION AND THEISM
Prestige of Physiology
Plan of neural action
God the mind's adequate object
Contrast between world as perceived and as conceived
God
The mind's three departments
Science due to a subjective demand
Theism a mean between two extremes
Gnosticism
No intellection except for practical ends
Conclusion
THE DILEMMA OF DETERMINISM
Philosophies seek a rational world
Determinism and Indeterminism defined
Both are postulates of rationality
Objections to chance considered
Determinism involves pessimism
Escape via Subjectivism
Subjectivism leads to corruption
A world with chance in it is morally the less irrational alternative
Chance not incompatible with an ultimate Providence
THE MORAL PHILOSOPHER AND THE MORAL LIFE
The moral philosopher postulates a unified system
Origin of moral judgments
Goods and ills are created by judgments
Obligations are created by demands
The conflict of ideals
Its solution
Impossibility of an abstract system of Ethics
The easy-going and the strenuous mood
Connection between Ethics and Religion
GREAT MEN AND THEIR ENVIRONMENT
Solidarity of causes in the world
The human mind abstracts in order to explain
Different cycles of operation in Nature
Darwin's distinction between causes that preserve a variation
"Physiological causes produce, the environment only adopts or preserves, great men"
When adopted they become social ferments
Messrs. Spencer and Allen criticised
Messrs. Wallace and Gryzanowski quoted
The laws of history
Mental evolution
Analogy between original ideas and Darwin's accidental variations
Criticism of Spencer's views
THE IMPORTANCE OF INDIVIDUALS
Small differences may be important
Individual differences are important because they are the causes of social change
Hero-worship justified
ON SOME HEGELISMS
The world appears as a pluralism
Elements of unity in the pluralism
Hegel's excessive claims
He makes of negation a bond of union
The principle of totality
Monism and pluralism
The fallacy of accident in Hegel
The good and the bad infinite
Negation
Conclusion
?Note on the Anæsthetic revelation
WHAT PSYCHICAL RESEARCH HAS ACCOMPLISHED
The unclassified residuum
The Society for Psychical Research and its history
Thought-transference
Gurney's work
The census of hallucinations
Mediumship
The 'subliminal self'
Science' and her counter-presumptions
The scientific character of Mr. Myer's work
The mechanical-impersonal view of life versus the personal-romantic view
INDEX
show more

Rating details

472 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 39% (183)
4 37% (176)
3 19% (90)
2 3% (14)
1 2% (9)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X