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Comments on the Will to Believe

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Abstract:

Kasher and Nishi interpret James as holding an expressivist theory about epistemic duties, as well as other normative sentences. On this interpretation, James's claim that we have a will-to-believe type option to believe an epistemic duty winds up being inconsistent. For one can believe only that which is either true or false; but, for the expressivist, normative claims are neither. It is argued that Feldman's essay is not only a wildly anachronistic account of Clifford and James but also is of no philosophical merit in its own right.

Keywords: Ethical Noncognitivism; Normativity; Will to Believe

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02691720500512309

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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