Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking : Popular Lectures on Philosophy (Google eBook)

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Longmans, Green, 1907 - Pragmatism - 308 pages
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Page 222 - The true,' to put it very briefly, is only the expedient in the way of our thinking, just as 'the right' is only the expedient in the way of our behaving. Expedient in almost any fashion; and expedient in the long run and on the whole of course; for what meets expediently all the experience in sight won't necessarily meet all farther experiences equally satisfactorily. Experience, as we know, has ways of boiling over, and making us correct our present formulas.
Page 46 - Whenever a dispute is serious, we ought to be 45 able to show some practical difference that must follow from one side or the other's being right. A glance at the history of the idea will show you still better what pragmatism means. The term is derived from the same Greek word Trpayp.0., meaning action, from which our words 'practice' and 'practical' come. It was first introduced into philosophy by Mr. Charles Peirce in 1878. In an article entitled ' How to Make Our Ideas Clear,' in the 'Popular...
Page 223 - absolutely' true, meaning what no farther experience will ever alter, is that ideal vanishing-point towards which we imagine that all our temporary truths will some day converge. It runs on all fours with the perfectly wise man, and with the absolutely complete experience; and, if these ideals are ever realized, they will all be realized together. Meanwhile we have to live to-day by what truth we can get to-day, and be ready to-morrow to call it falsehood.
Page 208 - Truth lives, in fact, for the most part on a credit system. Our thoughts and beliefs "pass," so long as nothing challenges them, just as bank-notes pass so long as nobody refuses them. But this all points to direct face-to-face verifications somewhere, without which the fabric of truth collapses like a financial system with no " cash-basis whatever. You accept my verification of one thing, I yours of another. We trade on each other's truth. But beliefs verified concretely by somebody are the posts...
Page 104 - ... the energies of our system will decay, the glory of the sun will be dimmed, and the earth, tideless and inert, will no longer tolerate the race which has for a moment disturbed its solitude. Man will go down into the pit, and all his thoughts will perish.
Page 299 - On pragmatistic principles, if the hypothesis of God works satisfactorily in the widest sense of the word, it is true. Now whatever its residual difficulties may be, experience shows that it certainly does work, and that the problem is to build it out and determine it so that it will combine satisfactorily with all the other working truths.
Page 276 - ... hazard ! These shows of the East and West are tame compared to you, These immense meadows, these interminable rivers, you are immense and interminable as they, These furies, elements, storms, motions of Nature, throes of apparent dissolution, you are he or she who is master or mistress over them, Master or mistress in your own right over Nature, elements, pain, passion, dissolution.
Page 91 - For supposing a man punished now for what he had done in another life, whereof he could be made to have no consciousness at all, what difference is there between that punishment, and being created miserable...
Page 45 - Although one or two of the hotter disputants called my speech a shuffling evasion, saying they wanted no quibbling or scholastic hairsplitting, but meant just plain honest English ' round,' the majority seemed to think that the distinction had assuaged the dispute. I tell this trivial anecdote because it is a peculiarly simple example of what I wish now to speak of as the pragmatic method. The^ pragmatic method is primarily a method of settling. metaphysical disputes that otherwise might be Interminable....
Page 200 - Grant an idea or belief to be true," it says, "what concrete difference will its being true make in any one's actual life? How will the truth be realized? What experiences will be different from those which would obtain if the belief were false? What, in short, is the truth's cash- value in experiential terms?

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