2.09.2008

"The Will to Believe" by William James

I'm still reading Kant (I've read the Introduction twice, and I'm ready to move on to the actual Critique now), but I was side-tracked by this essay (which was originally a speech James gave in 1897). I'd heard of it, of course, but hadn't thought of it in years. When I was reminded of it recently, I realized that the ideas at its core were also the central ideas I address on this blog, and in the humor book I'm considering.

As with everything philosophical, I'll need to read it a number of times before I'm willing to start tearing it up. But there are some weak links in this argument, and they come up all the time even today, 111 years after James presented this piece.

This should provide fuel for some more interesting posts here.

4 comments:

Big Jim said...

Good luck with the Kant. I haven't read him in years...maybe I should rectify that. I made the mistake of trying to read the Critique in German. Dense? Yes.

BTW, thanks for the comment on my Blog (A Loss for Words.) You're right--it was inspired by "Singapore." Perhaps the single most interesting song I've ever heard.

Question--I've perused your blogs but not found it: are you teaching at OU? I only ask because I used to Live in Tulsa and I have a friend who is/was a librarian at the OU law library...I think. We haven't talked in a few months.
Anyway.

Good luck with the Kant.

Jason said...

Welcome, Big Jim.

I took two years of German in high school, so it would take a lot to get me up to speed to read Kant in the original. It's a big enough challenge in English.

I don't teach at OU--for now I'm an adjunct at a couple community colleges in the OKC area. That could be changing soon.

Rain Dogs is definitely Waits's best material, and I go all over the place regarding which is my favorite song. For now it might be "Jockey Full of Bourbon."

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Scarlett said...

Great work.