Home / News
12. LECTURE XII. BELIEF (continued)
The view of belief which I have been advocating contains little that is novel except the distinction of kinds of belief-feeling-- such as memory and expectation. Thus James says: "Everyone knows the difference between imagining a thing and believing in its existence, between supposing a proposition and acquiescing in its truth...IN ITS INNER NATURE, BELIEF, OR THE SENSE OF REALITY, IS A SORT OF FEELING MORE ALLIED TO THE EMOTIONS THAN. TO ANYTHING ELSE" ("Psychology," vol. ii, p. 283. James's italics). He proceeds to point out that drunkenness, and, still more, nitrous-oxide intoxication, will heighten the sense of belief: in the latter case, he says, a man's very soul may sweat with conviction, and he be all the time utterly unable to say what he is convinced of. It would seem that, in such cases, the feeling of belief exists unattached, without its usual relation to a content believed, just as the feeling of familiarity may sometimes occur without being related to any definite familiar object. The feeling of belief, when it occurs in this separated heightened form, generally leads us to look for a content to which to attach it. Much of what passes for revelation or mystic insight probably comes in this way: the belief-feeling, in abnormal strength, attaches itself, more or less accidentally, to some content which we happen to think of at the appropriate moment. But this is only a speculation, upon which I do not wish to lay too much stress.
This is page 180 of 220. [Mark this Page]
Mark any page to add this title to Your Bookshelf. (0 / 10 books on shelf)
Buy a copy of The Analysis of Mind at Amazon.com
Customize text appearance:
(c) 2003-2012 LiteraturePage.com and Michael Moncur.
For information about public domain texts appearing here, read the copyright information and disclaimer.