The Will to Believe

The Will to Believe

Written by:
William James
Narrated by:
Liam Johnson
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Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
March 2023
8 hours 49 minutes
'The Will to Believe' is a philosophical essay written by William James in 1896. The essay is a defense of the concept of religious faith and argues that belief can be justified even in the absence of objective evidence.

James argues that there are some beliefs, such as religious beliefs, that cannot be proven or disproven by empirical evidence. He contends that in cases where there is insufficient evidence to support a belief, individuals are justified in using their will to believe in order to hold on to what they consider to be important or valuable beliefs.

James also argues that the act of believing itself can have positive effects on an individual's life. Belief can provide a sense of meaning and purpose, as well as a framework for understanding the world. Furthermore, James contends that individuals who possess a strong will to believe are more likely to succeed in achieving their goals, as they are more motivated and focused.

'The Will to Believe' was a controversial work in its time, and it continues to be debated by philosophers and scholars today. While some have criticized James's arguments for promoting irrationality and dogmatism, others have praised his defense of personal autonomy and individual freedom of thought. Overall, 'The Will to Believe' is an important contribution to the ongoing philosophical discourse on the nature of belief and faith.
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