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Durham University

The Department of Philosophy


Publication details for Dr Joe Saunders

Williams, Neil W. & Saunders, Joe (2018). Practical grounds for belief: Kant and James on religion. European Journal of Philosophy 26(4): 1269-1282.

Author(s) from Durham


Both Kant and James claim to limit the role of knowledge in order to make room for faith. In this paper, we argue that despite some similarities, their attempts to do this come apart. Our main claim is that, although both Kant and James justify our adopting religious beliefs on practical grounds, James believes that we can—and should—subsequently assess such beliefs on the basis of evidence. We offer our own account of this evidence and discuss what this difference means for their accounts of religious belief.