Book - 1991
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"The whole function of philosophy ought to be to find out what definite difference it will make to you and to me, at definite instances in our life, if this world-formula or that world-formula be the true one."

With these words, William James, one of the great minds of American philosophy, captures the power of pragmatism, a theory first developed by Charles S. Peirce. Pragmatism explores the various theories of truth, meaning, and reality to discover their "cash value" when implemented. Exactly what happens to our understanding of the world when this or that perspective is adopted? Most important of all, do the proposed theories really work when their principles are put into practice? Unless the consequences of these competing positions are tested, we will never know if any of them can help us to make better sense of the world we live in so that the problems we face as individuals and as a society can be resolved.

William James, the leading proponent of pragmatism and chief advocate for critically evaluating theoretical positions vying for our attention, remains a prominent figure in the distinguished history of Americdan philosophy.
Publisher: Buffalo, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 1991.
ISBN: 9780879756338
Branch Call Number: 144.3 Jam 3701 1
Characteristics: ix, 134 pages


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unbalancedbutfair Sep 07, 2012

This is a transcript of the lectures he gave about the philosophical position of pragmatism. This is a stance that is... uncomfortable. On the one hand he makes some great points that make philosophy exactly what it should be which is useful. On the other hand it flirts with post modernism (or completely subjective conception of Truth). But perhaps it straddles that line well. Perhaps he is closer to the answers than either of the two sides. The lectures very much deal with that overlap between personal truth and objective truth. Between subtle differences in definitions that make a world of difference. The last lecture especially ties some very important ideas together. I read this book a chapter at a time after working out. It was good to exercise the mind after the body. If you are looking for answers, this short read is probably worth your time.

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