Article ID: CBB687579261

Idealism, Pragmatism, and the Will to Believe: Charles Renouvier and William James (2015)


This article investigates the history of the relation between idealism and pragmatism by examining the importance of the French idealist Charles Renouvier for the development of William James's ‘Will to Believe’. By focusing on French idealism, we obtain a broader understanding of the kinds of idealism on offer in the nineteenth century. First, I show that Renouvier's unique methodological idealism led to distinctively pragmatist doctrines and that his theory of certitude and its connection to freedom is worthy of reconsideration. Second, I argue that the technical vocabulary and main structure of the argument from the ‘Will to Believe’ depend upon Renouvier's idealist theory of knowledge and psychology of belief, and that taking account of this line of influence is of crucial importance for establishing the correct interpretation of James's work.

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Article Robert Stern (2015) Introduction. British Journal for the History of Philosophy (pp. 601-610). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Fedi, Laurent
Salanskis, Jean-Michel
Leary, David E.
McGranahan, Lucas Robert
Vogler, Candace A.
Cooper, Wesley E.
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society
History of the Human Sciences
History of European Ideas
Vanderbilt University Press
University Press of America
University of Virginia Press
ENS Editions
Pragmatism; instrumentalism
Theories of knowledge
Belief and doubt
Philosophy of science
James, William
Peirce, Charles Sanders
Bergson, Henri Louis
Deleuze, Gilles
Spinoza, Baruch
Mill, John Stuart
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
17th century
18th century
United States

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