Evidentialism and the Will to Believe by Scott F. Aikin [Book Review]

Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 51 (2):266-271 (2015)
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Scott Aikin’s Evidentialism and the Will to Believe is the first book-length discussion of W.K. Clifford’s 1877 “The Ethics of Belief ” and William James’s 1896 “The Will to Believe.” Except for twenty pages, the book splits evenly between a detailed discussion of the two essays. A good book demands some good criticism, and I am hoping that the comments I make are read in that light. Evidentialism and the Will to Believe appears in the Bloomsbury Research in Analytic Philosophy series. Presumably because the book was written for this series, the discussion of historical context is kept to a minimum, and references to other writings of Clifford and James, and to the secondary literature, are scant.

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Cornelis de Waal
Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis


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