Sami Pihlström's lecture "Holistic Pragmatism and William James's 'Will to Believe" on May 18th at 14:15
On Friday May 18th at 14:15 professor Sami Pihlström will give a guest lecture titled "Holistic Pragmatism and William James's 'Will to Believe". Lecture will take place at Jakobi 2-336. The lecture will take place instead of the regular PhD seminar.
Abstract of the talk
This paper will first introduce and (with some qualifications) defend what Morton White has called "holistic pragmatism" as a promising approach to the pragmatist theory of inquiry and especially to the relation between fact and value, or the descriptive and the normative. Holistic pragmatism may, among other things, be used to make more precise Hilary Putnam's idea of the fact-value entanglement. In its second main part, the paper will turn to William James (an important background figure for both Putnam and White), analyzing the ways in which James can be claimed to be a holistic pragmatist. Particular attention will be drawn to James's controversial "will to believe" doctrine, which can be seen as manifesting holistic pragmatism due to its emphasis on the holistic character of our doxastic practices.
Sami Pihlström is Professor of Philosophy of Religion at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He is also, among other things, the President of the Philosophical Society of Finland. He has published widely on pragmatism, realism, transcendental philosophy, metaphysics, ethics, and the philosophy of religion. His recent books include Taking Evil Seriously (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), Kantian Antitheodicy (with Sari Kivistö, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), Death and Finitude (Lexington, 2016), as well as the edited volume Pragmatism and Objectivity (Routledge, 2017).