Pragmatism - Pragmatism – James Truth – dictionary...

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Unformatted text preview: Pragmatism – James Truth – dictionary definition – A property of certain of our ideas. It means their agreement and falsity their disagreement. True ideas of sensible things copy them. Look at a clock, close your eyes, you’ll get a copy of it. But turn to the clocks “time keeping function” or the springs elasticity – hard to see a picture. When idea cannot copy definitely their object – what does agreement with their object mean? Pragmatism asks the usual questions Grant an idea or belief true , what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone’s actual life? How will the truth be realized? What experiences will be different from those that would obtain if the belief were fact? What is truth? Pragmatist’s answer: True ideas are those that we can assimilate, validate, corroborate and verify; false ideas are those ideas we cannot. Truth happens to an idea. An idea becomes true. Its verity is in fact an event, process. Its veri‐fication. Its validity is the process of its valid‐ ation. Agreement is the key – “Agree” with reality. The connections and transitions come to us from point to point as being progressive, harmonious, satisfactory. This function of agreeable leading is what pragmatists mean by an ideas verification. “The possession of true thoughts means everywhere the possession of invaluable instruments instruments of action, and . . . our duty to gain truth…” The importance to human life of having true beliefs about matters of fact is a thing too notorious. The possession of truth [not being an end in itself] is only a preliminary means towards other vital satisfactions. Ex. Being lost in the woods and starved, and find what looks like a cow path. Object of thought is the house, but later this is not relevant. We have a general need for a general stock of extra truths, ideas that shall be true of merely possible situations. It is true because it is useful and It is useful because it is true. True is the name for whatever starts the verification process. Useful is the name for its completed function in experience. Experience offers other forms of truth process, but they are all conceivable as being primary verification arrested, multiplied or substituted for one another. Indirect as well direct verification are sufficient where circumstantial evidence is sufficient, pragmatists can go without eyewitnesses. Ex. Assume Japan to exist without being there. Therefore, truth lives on a credit system. They pass so long as no one challenges them. Besides economy of time: All things exist as kinds and not singly. Find a truth about one specimen of a kind and you don’t need to check other specimens. 99% guarantee. Indirectly or only potentially verifying processes maybe true as well as full‐verification processes. Pragmatist account is an account in the plural realized in things – they pay. Truth for pragmatists is simply a collective noun for the verification‐processes, as health, wealth, strength, etc . . . Truth is made, just as health, wealth and strength are made, in the course of experience. The quality of truth ante rem [before the thing] pragmatically means, then, the fact that in such a world innumerable ideas work better by their direct or possible than by their direct and actual verification. Ex. Wealth – name for concrete processes. Health likewise exists in rebus. The truth is only the expedient in the way of the way of our thinking, just as “the right” is only an expedient in the way of behaving. Expedient – in the long term and on the whole. The “absolutely true” is the ideal vanishing‐point towards which pragmatists imagine that all their temporary truths will someday converge. But we have to live today. Truth as one species of the good and not a category distinct from good, and coordinate with it. The true is the name of whatever proves itself to be good in the way of belief and, and goo too, for definite assignable reasons. What would be better for us to believe! We ought to believe. Ought we ever not to believe what it is better for us to believe? No. What about engaging in fantasies, superstitions? Suspicion is correct. Something happens when passing from abstract to the concrete that complicates the situation. What is better for us to believe is true unless the belief incidentally clashes with some other benefit. The greatest enemy to any one truth may be the rest of our truth. ...
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This note was uploaded on 09/02/2011 for the course PHI 2010 taught by Professor Miller during the Spring '11 term at Santa Fe College.

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