|I. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CONVICTION1|
The forces playing upon conviction; imitation, conservative tendencies, taboo, conformity, tradition; why men believe and what they believe. Emotion and convention; the function of conviction; logic, ethical, æsthetic regulation; relation to conduct. The "case" method; "cases" of inadequate evidence; credulity and weak hypothesis. Theories of human nature; the temperaments; knowledge and wisdom; "cases" of survival of cruder notions; belief in rare and occult power; middle ground between old-time credulity and present-day controversies. The psychology of controversial issues; the "case" of indulgence; the "case" of feminism; the "case" of pacifism. The personal aspects of conviction; social bearings of personal conviction; the Freudian interpretation of sources of conviction; Freudian mechanisms; compensation and the will to believe; rationalization of motives; consistency and the pride in rationality; reserved areas of belief; attraction of irregular beliefs; the abnormal field. Logic and psychology in control of conviction; the scientific realm.
|II. BELIEF AND CREDULITY37|
Logical evolution of belief; the fixation of opinion; motives of tenacity, of authority, of inclination, of verifiability; their history, mode of their operation, and survival. Limitations of scientific application; the sources of credulity. Types of credulity; prepossession and weak sense of proof. Credulity and deception; uncritical acceptance of fact; ready susceptibility to fallacy. The "case" of Taxil; the "case" of Kaspar Hauser; the "case" of Christian Science. The theoretical and the practical mind; theory and practice; their mutual dependence; the worth of theory; the limitations of practice; belief-standards; credulity as to fact results from ignorance of principle.