William James’S Transcendental Theological Voluntarism: A reading of “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life”[1]

MICHAEL A. CANTRELL (Article in PDF)

ABSTRACT
William James has been charged with many transgressions, but being a divine command theorist is not yet one of them. This paper remedies that situation. “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life” contains all the essential elements of a contemporary metaethical divine command theory of moral obligation. James’s essay affirms that divine commands are both necessary and sufficient for, and constitutive of, moral obligations and that moral obligations are both overriding and objective in the relevant sense. Furthermore, as an interesting wrinkle, James in this essay argues that his conclusion that moral obligations are constituted by divine commands is a transcendental deduction from the moral philosopher’s a priori commitment to the possibility of a unified system of moral truth. In so doing, James explicitly emulates the method of Josiah Royce. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of why James has not been recognized as a divine command theorist.

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William James has been charged with many transgressions, but being a divine command theorist is not yet one of them. In this paper, I remedy that situation. As I charge, James is guilty of committing divine command theory. And in a curious sort of way, it makes sense. After all, one who wishes to avoid the extremes of Platonism on one hand and moral skepticism on the other—and who is open to the reality of greater-than-human powers—is likely to find a theologically voluntaristic[2] framework quite congenial.

I. PROLEGOMENA ON NORMATIVE ETHICS VERSUS METAETHICS

Let me begin by clearly stating two things that I am not arguing. First, I am not arguing that James believes that divine commands are necessary for moral motivation or for moral behavior—although, as Todd Lekan has pointed out,[3] James apparently does hold something like this. Second, I am not arguing that James espouses a normative divine command theory—whether this is conceived as the view that we ought to obey divine commands, or the view that divine commands play a role in telling us what things we ought to do. On the contrary, my argument is that James advances a metaethical divine command theory of moral obligation.

To understand what this claim amounts to, it is helpful to understand the distinction between two broad kinds of questions we can ask about morality. Suppose there is a debate about whether it is morally good to contribute to famine relief or whether one morally ought to change one’s lifestyle in light of research on the global birth dearth. First, we can ask first order questions about whose position in the debate in is correct (e.g., Is it, in fact, morally good to contribute to famine relief?). These are normative questions. But we can also ask second order questions about what the parties in the debate are doing as they engage in it.[4] For example, typical second order questions include “What is the meaning of ‘moral value’?” or “What is the nature of the property of ‘being morally obligated’?” Generally, metaethical questions are second order questions about first order normative questions. A discussion is metaethical if it aims to say something interesting and informative about the moral concepts used in some moral discussion or about the moral properties (e.g., x’s being morally good, x’s being moral obligatory, x’s being morally permissible, etc.) referred to.

In arguing that James advances a metaethical divine command theory of moral obligation, then, I am arguing, not that he holds any normative version of divine command theory, but rather that he espouses the metaethical view that understands moral obligations as being (metaphysically) constituted by divine commands.[5] Consequently, because the argument below is about James’s metaethical views, it might be helpful to conceive what follows as a third order discussion that attempts to illuminate James’s own second order views about first order moral questions.

II. JAMES’S “METAPHYSICAL” DIVINE COMMAND THEORY

With these preliminary issues out of the way, let us lay down the requirements for a position to qualify as a metaethical divine command theory of moral obligation. Such a position must meet four criteria. The position must hold, first, that divine commands are sufficient to constitute moral obligations, and second, that divine commands are necessary to constitute moral obligations. Third, the position will have a place for genuinely moral obligations as those practical considerations that override or take deliberative priority over all others.[6] And fourth, it will hold that moral obligations are objective (in the sense that we humans can be mistaken about them).[7] In what follows, I show that the metaethical position that James develops in his essay, “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life,” meets all four of these criteria. Hence, as the author of that essay, James does, in fact, assert a kind of divine command theory.[8]

In “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life,” James declares that there are three questions in ethics which must be carefully distinguished. First is the “psychological” question which inquires into the origin of moral ideas and judgments. Second is the “metaphysical” question that inquires into the meanings of moral terms. And third is the “casuistic” question, which James describes as inquiring into the “measure of the various goods and ills which men recognize.”[9] Most contemporary philosophers would place this third question under the heading of applied ethics. Casuistry is very similar to modern applied ethics, but it belongs to an older and broader tradition than what modern ethicists would comfortably refer to under that heading. As for James’s first two questions, metaethics is the contemporary subfield that investigates psychological issues such as the origin of our moral notions and metaphysical issues pertaining to the nature of moral properties. Therefore, James’s responses to these questions properly fall under the heading of metaethics. In what follows, I am primarily concerned with James’s treatment of the second, “metaphysical” question. Although James describes this question as inquiring into the meaning of moral terminology—a semantic concern—as we shall see, his treatment of this question indicates that he really is concerned to explore the metaphysical issue of what constitutes the realities that are referred to by our moral terms.[10] This is, after all, what one would naturally expect from a “metaphysical” question.

James begins his response to the metaphysical question by providing a series of thought experiments and arguments to elucidate the metaphysical underpinnings of moral terminology. Convinced that value and obligation are realities that depend upon the “conscious sensibility” of existing sentient beings, James seeks to counter the tendency to locate evaluative or normative phenomena in an abstract moral order that ontologically preexists the consciousness of moral agents.[11] He begins his thought experiment by imagining a world consisting merely of physical objects, a world containing no God or sentient beings of any kind. Such a world, James argues, would have no moral relations whatsoever; here descriptions of good and evil would have no application. Moral relations, James says, “must be realized somewhere in order really to exist; and the first step in ethical philosophy is to see that no merely inorganic ‘nature of things’ can realize them.” The moment that a sentient being comes into existence, however, “there is a chance for goods and evils really to exist.”[12] Even so, it remains the case that “beyond the facts of [the sentient being’s] subjectivity there is nothing moral in the world.”[13] Thus, values have no deep basis in the ontological structure of the world; their roots are to be found solely in the conscious experience of sentient beings.

Introducing a second sentient being into the world makes matters more complex. The world acquires twice as much of the ethical quality as it had contained before. The previous “moral solitude” becomes a “moral dualism,” with the novel potential for conflicting evaluations. Yet, as James emphasizes, because no moral order exists antecedently to the conscious experience of these agents, there is no basis for legitimate adjudication of potential moral disputes. Furthermore, James says, the multiplication of sentient beings into a plurality results in a moral situation similar to that described by the ancient skeptics, namely, that no objective truth can be found, that “man is the measure of all things,” and that we must be content with an irreducible and disharmonious multitude of subjective moral evaluations.

“But this is the kind of world,” James maintains, “with which the philosopher . . . will not put up. Among the various ideals represented, there must be, he thinks, some which have the more truth or authority.”[14] But why think this is so? Why not view this ancient kind of moral skepticism as a genuine possibility for the moral philosopher? The answer is that, on James’s view, the aim of the moral philosopher—with whom James crucially identifies himself[15]—is “to find an account of the moral relations that obtain among things, which will weave them into the unity of a stable system, and make of the world what one may call a genuine universe from the ethical point of view.”[16] To renounce the aim of finding a comprehensive and unified account of the moral relations that obtain would be tantamount to rejecting the enterprise of moral philosophy itself. Indeed, James describes this ideal of unity as “a positive contribution which the philosopher himself necessarily makes to the problem.”[17] There is, then, a truth of the matter as to how moral conflicts ought to be resolved and as to how certain ideals ought to be subordinated to certain others. Moral judgments are either true or false, and since “[t]ruth supposes a standard outside of the thinker to which he must conform,” there is an objective basis for the legitimate adjudication of moral disputes.[18] Given James’s rejection of an antecedent moral order, however, he cannot appeal to any abstract, moral “nature of things” to provide that basis.[19] Rather, James has left himself only one option: the basis for the adjudication of moral disputes can be found only in “the de facto constitution of some existing consciousness.”[20]

Now James introduces the notion of obligation: “[W]e see not only that without a claim actually made by some concrete person there can be no obligation, but that there is some obligation wherever there is a claim.”[21] James asserts two things here. First, if there is no “claim”—which he treats as interchangeable with “demand” or (expressed) “desire”—then there is no obligation:

(1) If there is no claim, then there is no obligation.

By contraposition, this conditional is equivalent to:

(1’) If there is an obligation, then there is a claim.

And this means that a claim is a necessary condition for an obligation. Second, James asserts that there is some obligation wherever there is a claim, or:

(2) If there is a claim, then there is an obligation.

This means that a claim is sufficient condition for an obligation. So a claim (or demand) is both necessary and sufficient for obligation. And James explicitly concurs with this logical analysis: “Claim and obligation,” he says, “are, in fact, coextensive terms; they cover each other exactly.”[22] Indeed, James is not simply making the semantic assertion that “claim” and “obligation” mean the same thing. He is saying not that the two terms are cointensive, but that they are coextensive, that is, that the sets of things to which they apply are identical. On James’s view, then, every claim metaphysically constitutes an obligation of some sort.

So every claim constitutes an obligation. But in that case one will have many obligations that conflict with one another. How will one determine which obligations one morally ought to fulfill, that is, which obligations merit the label of genuinely moral obligations? As noted above, James can appeal only to “the de facto constitution of some existing consciousness” to resolve this dilemma. Therefore, he asks: “[W]hat particular consciousness in the universe can enjoy this prerogative of obliging others to conform to a rule which it lays down? If one of the thinkers were obviously divine, while all the rest were human, there would probably be no practical dispute about the matter. The divine thought would be the model, to which the others should conform.”[23] In this statement James explicitly affirms what he presupposes throughout the essay, namely, that “divine rule[s] . . . la[id] down”—or what are normally called “divine commands”—are sufficient for constituting moral obligations. James’s position, then, meets the first requirement to qualify as a divine command theory of moral obligation.

But even if a divine command (understood as the revealed or expressed will of a divine being) is sufficient for constituting a moral obligation, it might, for all we know, be the case that the mere unrevealed or hidden will of that divine being is sufficient to constitute moral obligations as well. Or, for that matter, circumstances that do not involve the divine will in any way whatsoever might suffice for constituting moral obligations. Thus, one could hold that divine commands are sufficient for constituting moral obligation and still not qualify as a divine command theorist in any robust sense. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain that any position worthy of the name “divine command theory of moral obligation” must affirm not just the sufficiency but also the necessity of divine commands for constituting moral obligations.

And this is just what we find in James’s essay. James has said that the moral philosopher is committed to finding a comprehensive and unified account of the moral life. If a divine being exists, then a unified account also exists in that being’s consciousness, and as we have seen, James affirms that we are morally obligated to act in accordance with that being’s dictates. Thus, James affirms the sufficiency of divine commands for constituting moral obligations. But James also affirms their necessity. As he says, “[T]he stable and systematic moral universe for which the ethical philosopher asks is fully possible only in a world where there is a divine thinker with all-enveloping demands” (emphasis added).[24] That is, the “all-enveloping demands” of a “divine thinker” is necessary for the systematic moral universe to which James (qua moral philosopher) is committed. In other words, divine commands are necessary for constituting moral obligations. Thus, James is committed to the two-fold claim that divine commands are both necessary and sufficient for constituting moral obligations.

James’s disdain for any reference to an “abstract moral order” leads him to affirm the most concrete possibility. He says that one’s respecting the divine will is not abstractly right, but “only concretely right—or right after the fact, and by virtue of the fact, that they [i.e., divine commands] are actually made” (emphasis added).[25] In other words, acting in accordance with the divine demands is obligatory not because it is right in some abstract way, but only because—or (as James says) “by virtue of the fact that”—those demands are actually and concretely laid down by the divine being. This is a remarkable claim. It evokes a version of the infamous Euthyphro dilemma: does God command what is right because it is (antecedently) right, or is what is right right because God commands it? And here James comes down decisively on the side of theological voluntarism: what is right is right because God commands it.

It is important to keep in mind what is meant here by “theological voluntarism.” By applying this label to James I do not mean to assert the claim, typical of debates in medieval philosophy, that James held the divine will to be superior to, or more fundamental than, the divine intellect in determining what our moral obligations are. Rather, consistent with current discussions in metaethics,[26] I mean simply that James held that an obligation to perform some action has whatever moral status it possesses in virtue of God’s commanding (or failing to command) the relevant action. Hence, this position is completely consistent with (i.e., does not logically exclude) a form of theological intellectualism to which James also appears to be committed. Indeed, James held that our obligations are capable of being rationalized, that is, rationally ordered into “the most inclusive realizable whole” by “a divine thinker with all-enveloping demands.”[27] But the mere ordering of obligations into a stable and systematic whole does not itself establish these obligations as moral obligations. On James’s view, this rational ordering is necessary, but not sufficient, to account for our having moral obligations; the demand, the voluntaristic aspect, is also essential.

Furthermore, speaking of moral obligations, James refers to “that real Thinker in whose actual demand upon us to think as he does our obligation must be ultimately based.”[28] As these comments make clear, James is committed, not merely to a divine will theory of moral obligation, but rather to a full-blooded divine command theory of the same. One has moral obligations only if there are divine commands.

With respect to the third requirement, James has a place for moral obligations as those considerations which morally override or take deliberative priority over all others, and these moral obligations are constituted by divine commands. “If there be such a [divine] consciousness,” James says, “then its demands carry the most of obligation simply because they are the greatest in amount.”[29] While “greatest in amount” is opaque as a description, James provides two indications of what this phrase is supposed to connote. First, he maintains that the “ideal universe” of such a divine being will constitute the most inclusive realizable moral whole. Given the moral philosopher’s commitment to the unity of the moral life, then, James makes it clear that the demands of a divine being will provide one with finally-valid, second-order obligations regarding how one should prioritize one’s everyday, first-order obligations.[30] Thus, the divine commands take priority. Second, James explicitly links the “amount” of a moral demand to its imperativeness, which he treats as a matter of degree.[31] Since the demands of a divine being are the “greatest in amount,” then, they are the most imperative moral considerations. Thus, James affirms that moral obligations are indeed overriding.

So in James’s essay, he affirms both the necessity and the sufficiency of divine commands for constituting moral obligations, as well as that obligations generated by divine commands are overriding. How about the final requirement, that is, that moral obligations must be objective? If moral obligations are constituted merely by the demands of one sentient being among others, one might wonder whether or not they can attain the status of objectivity. As it happens, James himself speaks of the philosopher’s ideal (i.e., the unified account of the moral life) as characterized by objectivity.[32] Furthermore, he specifically speaks of divine commands and of the moral obligations that follow from them as objective in character. “When . . . we believe that a God is there, and that he is one of the claimants,” James says, “[t]he more imperative ideals now begin to speak with an altogether new objectivity and significance, and to utter the penetrating, shattering, tragically challenging note of appeal.”[33] So James appears to believe that moral obligations are objective. But can he legitimately hold this position?

The implausibility of James’s claim that moral obligations are objective can be removed by distinguishing two senses of “objective.” Let’s say that something is weakly objective if it obtains independently of human attitudes. Something that is strongly objective, on the other hand, will obtain independently of both human and divine attitudes. The “abstract moral order” that James opposes so strenuously would be strongly objective because it is ontologically prior to the attitudes of all sentient beings, whether divine or human. This is not, however, the kind of objectivity that is required for James’s position to qualify as a divine command theory of moral obligation. To be sure, if James were to affirm that moral obligations were strongly objective, this would entail the denial of divine command theory. For, in that case, divine commands would not be necessary for constituting moral obligations. Rather, as stated at the beginning of this essay, for James’s position to qualify as a divine command theory, he must hold moral obligations to be objective simply in the sense that human beings could be mistaken about them. And this is precisely what we find in James’s account: one’s moral obligations are weakly objective in that, while they are dependent upon divine attitudes, they obtain independently of human attitudes. As noted above, the “de facto constitution” of the divine consciousness provides objective truth-makers with respect to which human moral judgments are true or false. Much the same thing applies to moral obligations, with the result that humans can indeed be mistaken about them.

As I have argued, then, William James in this essay advances a divine command theory of moral obligation. James is committed to the claim that divine commands are both necessary and sufficient to constitute moral obligations, as well as to the claims that these obligations are overriding and (weakly) objective in character.

III. GOD AS THE CONDITION FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF UNIFIED MORAL TRUTH

 What we have in James’s essay is actually a transcendental argument in which James inquires into the necessary conditions of the possibility of a unified system of moral truth. As James says in the introduction, “[t]he aim [‘of him who seeks an ethical philosophy’[34]] is to find an account of the moral relations that obtain among things, which will weave them into the unity of a stable system, and make of the world what one may call a genuine universe from the ethical point of view.”[35] Indeed, the possibility of a unified moral life is James’s a priori principle. This postulation of the genuine moral universe, James writes, “is a positive contribution which the philosopher himself necessarily makes to the problem.”[36] It is this a priori commitment to the possibility of a unified moral life that leads ultimately to the conclusion that moral obligations are constituted by the demands of a divine being: “It would seem, too—and this is my final conclusion—that the stable and systematic moral universe for which the ethical philosopher asks is fully possible only in a world where there is a divine thinker with all-enveloping demands.”[37] James continues:

If such a thinker existed, his way of subordinating the demands to one another would be the finally valid casuistic scale; his claims would be the most appealing; his ideal universe would be the most inclusive realizable whole. If he now exist, [sic] then actualized in his thought already must be that ethical philosophy which we seek as the pattern which our own must evermore approach.[38]

That James’s argument is transcendental in character is further demonstrated by the footnoted citation James gives at the end of the last sentence of the passage just quoted. In that note, James writes, “All this is set forth with great freshness and force in the work of my colleague, Professor Josiah Royce: ‘The Religious Aspect of Philosophy.’ Boston, 1885.”[39] (The Religious Aspect of Philosophy, of course, is where Royce gives his transcendental argument from the possibility of error for the existence of an Absolute Knower.[40]) Then, immediately following the passage citing to Royce, James continues: “In the interests of our own ideal of systematically unified moral truth, therefore, we, as would-be philosophers, must postulate a divine thinker, and pray for the victory of the religious cause” (emphasis added).[41] Whereas Royce’s argument from the possibility of error concludes with an Absolute Knower, James’s argument from the possibility of systematically unified moral truth concludes with “a divine thinker with all-enveloping demands,” that is, we might say, a divine commander. 

IV. THE USES AND LIMITS OF JAMES’S DIVINE COMMAND THEORY

But if James is something of a divine command theorist, why has this fact gone unnoticed? I suspect that there are many reasons. It is easy to imagine that many commentators, holding James in high esteem, have not been eager to associate him with anything as unfashionable as divine command theory. But there are other reasons. One is terminological: James himself never uses the term “command,” preferring instead to speak of divine “demands,” “claims,” or (expressed) “desires.” Another reason is theological. Speaking of his postulated divine thinker, James says that “[i]n a theistic-ethical philosophy that thinker in question is, of course, the Deity to whom the existence of the universe is due.”[42] Besides this comment, however, James gives no indication that the divine being he envisions is anything like an ultimate Creator-God. In fact, his thought-experiments would seem to indicate that James is committed to the non-existence of such a being. The creaturely divinity that James seems to presuppose therefore could not be the Christian Creator-God, whom traditional theists have themselves tended to presuppose.

A final reason why James has not been recognized as a divine command theorist is that his theological voluntarism is formulated merely on the metaethical level: James employs it, not as a normative theory to inform people of how to regulate their conduct, but rather as a way to elucidate the necessary referents of our moral terminology. In fact, James goes on later in the essay to articulate normative principles whereby one should regulate one’s conduct that have no obvious connection with a theologically-voluntaristic framework. A normative divine command theory fails as a measure of conduct because, as James says, precisely what God wills is “unascertainable and vague,” and even if we were sure of God’s existence, God’s thoughts are hidden from us.[43] Ironically, therefore, James ends by recommending to his reader something like a desire-satisfaction form of utilitarianism by which to guide his or her conduct[44]—and this even in apparent tension with misgivings stated earlier in the essay about a related view.[45]

One’s postulation of the divine being, James says, serves practically to instill in one what he calls “the strenuous mood,” which he describes as characterizing an “ethics of infinite and mysterious obligation from on high” and whereby “[e]very sort of energy and endurance, of courage and capacity for handling life’s evils, is set free.”[46] But as we have seen, the theoretical function of this postulate is to ensure the possibility of a unified moral life. “In the interests of our own ideal of systematically unified moral truth,” James says, “we, as would-be [moral] philosophers, must postulate a divine thinker, and pray for the victory of the religious cause.”[47] And with that, I rest my case. On the count of committing divine command theory, I maintain, William James is guilty as charged.

 

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NOTES

[1] A previous draft of this paper was read at the group session of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy at the Eastern Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association in December 2008. The author thanks Todd Lekan for his written conference commentary and several audience members for their thoughtful reactions. Thanks are also due to Stuart Rosenbaum and J. Mark Boone for their comments on prior iterations of this paper, as well as to Alexander Pruss, C. Stephen Evans, and J. Todd Buras for engaging with me in conversations related to the topic of this paper.

[2] By arguing that James espouses a form of “theological voluntarism,” I do not mean to assert the claim, typical of studies in medieval philosophy, that James held the divine will to be more fundamental in some way than the divine intellect. Rather, consistent with current discussions in metaethics (and as I explain in more detail below), I mean that James held that an obligation to perform some action has whatever moral status it possesses in virtue of God’s commanding (or failing to command) the relevant action.

[3] Lekan notes James’s belief that “strenuous moral living requires a belief in a God, who is a kind of ‘divine demander’”; he argues—rightly, I think—that James’s arguments for this “theological postulate” are inadequate. Cf. his “Strenuous Moral Living,” William James Studies 2, no. 1 (Summer 2007).

[4] I owe this precise way of stating the difficult distinction between normative and metaethical questions to Alexander Miller’s helpful book, An Introduction to Contemporary Metaethics (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2003), 1.

[5] James would thus find quite congenial recent developments in the metaethics of moral obligation, for Robert M. Adams has defended a very similar claim. Cf. Finite and Infinite Goods: A Framework for Ethics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 231-276.

[6] This is a stipulative (although quite common) use of the term “moral.”   To be sure, James sometimes uses “moral” to refer to things that would not be properly so-called under this definition. But nothing of philosophical significance turns on this usage. If one objects to my usage of the term, then I suggest replacing it with “schmoral”—the argument then becomes that James saw a special class of overriding “schmoral” obligations as constituted by divine commands.

[7] Elsewhere I have defended a metaethical divine command theory of moral obligation. See Kierkegaard and Modern Moral Philosophy: Conceptual Unintelligibility, Moral Obligations, and Divine Commands, Ph.D. dissertation, Baylor University, 2009. Among others, C. Stephen Evans holds a similar view. See his recent God and Moral Obligation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).

[8] William James, “The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life” in The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy, volume 6 of The Works of William James, 20 vols. (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 1975-1988); citations cross-referenced below (in parentheses) to the pages of The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy and Human Immortality (New York: Dover Publications, 1956).

[9] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 142 (185).

[10] This conflation of metaphysical and semantic questions, or of the constitution of a thing with the meaning of a term, is common in the writings of early twentieth century philosophers. Cf., e.g., Principia Ethica, where G.E. Moore consistently conflates the question of whether “good means x” with that of whether “good is constituted by x.” See G.E. Moore, Principia Ethica (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).

[11] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 145 (190).

[12] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 145 (190).

[13] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 146 (191).

[14] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 147 (192).

[15] Cf. James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 161 (214).

[16] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 141 (184-5).

[17] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 142 (185).

[18] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 146 (191).

[19] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 147 (193).

[20] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 147 (193).

[21] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 148 (194).

[22] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 148 (194).

[23] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 147-48 (193); the second sentence begins a new paragraph.

[24] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 161 (213-4).

[25] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 149 (196).

[26] Cf., e.g., Mark C. Murphy, An Essay on Divine Authority (New York: Cornell University Press, 2002).

[27] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 161 (214).

[28] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 148 (194).

[29] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 149 (196).

[30] Cf. James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 147, 148, 161 (192, 194, 214).

[31] Cf. James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 149 (195).

[32] Cf. James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 147, 154 (192, 203).

[33] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 160 (212).

[34] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 141 (184).

[35] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 141 (184-5).

[36] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 142 (185).

[37] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 161 (213-4).

[38] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 161 (214).

[39] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 161n (214n).

[40] Josiah Royce, The Religious Aspect of Philosophy (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958), 384-435. Royce begins with the question, “Since error is plainly possible in some way, we shall have only to inquire: What are the logical conditions that make it possible?” (392, emphasis in original). He ultimately concludes: “Either there is no such thing as error, which statement is a flat self-contradiction, or else there is an infinite unity of conscious thought to which is present all possible truth” (424, emphasis in original).

[41] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 161 (214).

[42] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 148 (194-5).

[43] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 152; cf. 151, 161 (201; cf. 199, 214).

[44] Cf. James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 153-159 (201-210).

[45] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 144 (188).

[46] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 161 (213).

[47] James, “The Moral Philosopher,” 161 (214).

 

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