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JAMESIAN EPISTEMOLOGY FORMALISED: AN EXPLICATION OF ‘THE WILL TO BELIEVE’

  • Richard Pettigrew
Abstract

Famously, William James held that there are two commandments that govern our epistemic life: Believe truth! Shun error! In this paper, I give a formal account of James' claim using the tools of epistemic utility theory. I begin by giving the account for categorical doxastic states – that is, full belief, full disbelief, and suspension of judgment. Then I will show how the account plays out for graded doxastic states – that is, credences. The latter part of the paper thus answers a question left open in Pettigrew (2014).

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Corresponding author
Richard.Pettigrew@bristol.ac.uk
References
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Episteme
  • ISSN: 1742-3600
  • EISSN: 1750-0117
  • URL: /core/journals/episteme
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