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Abstract


William James on the Rationality of Faith
One of the most important representatives of pragmatism, which is a way of thinking focused on utility, hope and results, is William James. The pragmatic method, which was previously applied to different subjects in a narrow scope, was applied by James on all subjects of philosophy. One of these issues is the issue of faith. It is seen that James expressed his approach to faith in his different works, piece by piece. For this reason, comments have often been made that he adopted belief only if it is beneficial. However, when evaluated as a whole, it will be seen that James does not reduce belief only to utility, but supports it with rational justifications. In addition to pragmatic rationality and with the idea of "will to believe", he also demonstrated the reasonableness of choosing without waiting for definitive proof in important preference situations. In addition, he put forward the "mind-cure movement", one of the popular groups of his time, as the empirical confirmation of belief, and demonstrated with examples that belief can cure physical diseases that medicine or science could not cure. Expressing the effects of faith and God on human beings with religious experiences, James argues that the thing that has a real effect on humans can only be another reality, revealing both his own belief and why believing is more rational than not believing.

Keywords
William James, religious experience, will to believe, mind cure, pragmatism.


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