A pragmatist takes the witness stand

The idea for my previous post was the following quote from Josias Royce responding to William James. James embraced philosophical pragmatism, the view that whatever is expedient is true.

Would you then get on the witness stand in a court of law and swear to tell ‘the expedient, the whole expedient and nothing but the expedient, so help me future experience’…?

Philosophical pragmatism is not simply pragmatism in the sense of valuing the practical. Instead it is the idea that the only test of truth is what works. But “works” by what criteria? Pragmatism is inadequate as a philosophical foundation because you need other criteria to decide what it means for something to “work.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.