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William James. Psychology - Essay Example

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He wanted to show that sometimes it is justifiable to hold beliefs that are not supported by sufficient evidence (Cronk; James “The Will To Believe and Other Essays”; James “A History…” ). It was tackled that it was not a matter of either choosing A or not A as long as you made a passionate decision. Everything do have an explanation, whether it is readily available or yet to be discovered. Whether a hypothesis that is being believed by a person is “alive” or “dead” that person still believes on something in his advocacy. The passion within that person will make him strive more to seek for answers and ideas to be tested as to whether or not what he believes in holds true or not. Most of the time, he seek more supporting ideas that will make his belief more justifiable to non-believers. What needs to be done is to follow the passion and let it decide. The passion that had been acquired reflects a universal acquired wisdom and learned lessons (Cronk; James “The Will To Believe and Other Essays”; James “A History…”)....
m, “that truth exists, and that our minds can find it.” Though dogmatism has also its own ways of belief, an absolutist way and an empiricist way. The absolutist way is more on the philosophical side as it has everything going on its way. It is considered at times as fine in deal however at times is practically impossible to obtain. The empiricist way, on the other hand, is more scientific and should be adopted by people as it replaces subjective certainty with what continuous thinking confirms such entity. James admitted that he himself is an empiricist with regards to his theory on human knowledge (Cronk; James “The Will To Believe and Other Essays”; James “A History…” ). Often taken as synonymous in command, James separates one important aspect in knowing the truth and avoiding the error; avoiding the error at all cost means failing to adopt a hypothesis which may, in the long run, turn out to be true. When a new idea emerges, sometimes a person is very excited to finally know the truth. However, sometimes when such does not connive with a previous study, the latter would be avoided or sometimes considered as an error. Nowadays, this kind of hesitation makes a person in denial of the truth though it is presented unto him. That person tends to look for further answers to support his hypothesis. This way of thinking is a matter of yielding something that could be true rather than “dead”. (Cronk; James “The Will To Believe and Other Essays”; James “A History…” ). According to James, when a person is in doubt, “do not decide, but leave the question open.” At this point, when one does such action, he himself made a passionate decision just by being unsure. He entertains thoughts on proving the truthfulness of either A or not A. This ...Show more


William James believed that the truth is found in experiences and not in judgments about the world. He gave his most distinctive and resonating lecture, “The Will to Believe” in 1896…
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William James. Psychology essay example
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