WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS. William James (Second lecture in Jame’s 1906 series at the Lowell Institute). Purpose . James claims that Pragmatism is first a method of doing philosophy and second a theory of truth. (1) Method (2) Truth (Knowledge) . Pragmatism as a Method.
(Second lecture in Jame’s 1906 series at the Lowell Institute)
1. Pragmatism is a tool for solving scientific and metaphysical controversies
2. Clarifies the meaning of concepts.
3. It does NOT advance any particular theory or view of the world.
4. It is an attitude or orientation
Part 1: Truth is Coherence )also correspondence)
Part II:Truth is a species of the Good (what is good for you is true)
Truth and Coherence
(1) Coherence might be a necessary condition for truth but is it a sufficient condition. In other words, is it enough for a belief to cohere well with one’s existing beliefs for it to be true?
(2) James seems to give too much value to all existing beliefs regardless of their evidential support and how those beliefs were formed.
(3) James give too much weight to an individual’s satisfaction in the process of coherence.
Truth and Goodness