William Clifford And William James

1091 Words Nov 18th, 2016 5 Pages
Since the 19th century, William Clifford and William James have been the foremost religious theorist and have attempted to answer significant creation and theological mysteries. However, Clifford and James have varying views on the belief debate, each formulating a rational argument of what the basis for belief should be. Clifford’s, Ethics of Belief and James’ The Will to Believe outline their respective arguments which are vastly similar and but have marked differences. Both articles will be examined for these similarities and difference and stated within this paper.
Born in 1845, William Clifford was a mathematician and philosopher famed for his philosophy of science and quest for answering ethical questions through scientific evidence (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2014). Clifford recognized several difficulties in Emmanuel Kant’s argument related to philosophy, which inspired him to begin a search for answers related to innate belief, personal responsibility of guilt, and overall creation. In the Ethics of Belief, Clifford asserts that it is always wrong to believe based on insufficient evidence, a theme that would follow his opinion on every issue he chose to tackle.
William James was an American psychiatrist and philosopher, born in 1842 and touted as the leader of the philosophical movement of Pragmatism and of the psychological movement of functionalism (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2014). James’ rebuttal to the Clifford’s Ethics of Believe, was the famed Will to Believe.…
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