Pragmatism And Truth : The Pragmatist View Of Truth

1530 WordsSep 21, 20167 Pages
Pragmatism and Truth The pragmatist view of truth, as written by William James in “Truth is Established on Pragmatic Grounds,” is the view that the best way to define truth is in terms of beliefs that work. In other words, truth becomes a human manifestation of individual beliefs, where people believe what is better to believe, so long as it doesn’t clash with another “vital benefit” (Mulvaney, 297). I will argue that the pragmatist’s interpretation of the truth allows for confirmation bias to take hold, and subsequently leads to a manipulation of truth where individuals pick and choose the most beneficial ideas over evidence. When writing about truth, there is a distinction made between ideas and beliefs. James attempts to define it as he writes, “Truth, as any dictionary will tell you, is a property of certain of our ideas. It means their ‘agreement,’ as falsity means their disagreement, with ‘reality.’ Pragmatists and intellectualists both accept this definition… They begin to quarrel only after the question is raised as to what may precisely be meant by the term ‘agreement,’ and what by the term ‘reality,’ when reality is taken as something for our ideas to agree with.” (Mulvaney, 297). In this way, truth becomes a series of an individual’s ideas that agree with one another to construct a certain reality, which James acknowledges may be debated further. Of course, the truth is not entirely subjective because there is a lacking verification of the individual’s belief,

More about Pragmatism And Truth : The Pragmatist View Of Truth

Open Document