Question

Essay responds to the following prompts:

William James (Pragmatism)
Can we make something true simply by believing it to be true?
Why or why not?
Does James make this claim?

Bertrand Russell (A Free Man's Worship)
Does Russell believe that moral values are possible in a godless universe?
What is the “Freeman’s worship”?

References
James, W. (1907). Pragmatism: a new name for some old ways of thinking. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1907, 1975.
Russell, B. (1903). A Free man's worship. Retrieved 9 September 2014 online from The Bertrand Russell Society.

Solution Preview

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Belief is not a condition for truth. For example, suppose Sally believes she is alone in the room. Even if she looks about the room for another person, the truth claim that she is alone in a room is not justified by her belief, but rather, substantiated by the fact that there is, in fact, no one in the room. Even though her belief “no one is in the room” and the fact that there is no one in the room coincide does not follow that her simply believing it is a necessary condition for it being true....

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