And Another One (Pragmatist): William James (Part 1)

The Realist Turn

For Richard Rorty, William James played a special role in critizising the correspondence theory of truth. He writes:william_james_b1842c

William James said, “’The true’… is only the expedient in the way of our thinking, just
as ‘the right’ is only the expedient in the way of our behaving,” Elsewhere he said, “The true is the name of whatever proves itself to be good in the way of belief, and good, too, for  definite,  assignable  reasons.”  His  point  in  analogizing  truth  to  rightness  and  to goodness was that once you understand all about the justification of actions, including the justification of assertions, you understand all there is to understand about goodness, rightness and truth.”

Unfurtunately, here again does Rorty quote some sentence completely out of context. But actually, James always struggled against the complaints that he would surrender the classical theory of truth. Espcially after his well known lectures about pragmatism. For…

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