American Philosophy

William James

What was William James’ pragmatic epistemology?

He accepted that statements are true-or-false claims about what exists, but within our experience the world is “really malleable” so that truth is also imposed on reality. Truth, as “agreement with reality,” varies, depending on the nature of what may be true. For example, in ordinary experience, beliefs are true if we are not painfully surprised when we act on them. Scientific truth emerges in ways that make entire systems coherent.


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