Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, April 13, 2017

250+ word essay
Nathan Stickles
(LH chapter 28)
Section 9

In regards to James, I was interested in his pragmatic themes represented in his squirrel story. It was very interesting that his views are very practical which is, I feel, very different than many of the other philosophers that we have studied! Philosophers who call themselves pragmatists look at different arguments, and make sure that particular argument had a physical, practical, or day to day impact on life as we know it. If an argument does not meet those criteria, it is clearly a waste of time, and should not be discussed.

For a pragmatist then you have to choose arguments that have bearing, but you also have to  clearly establish "in relation to what" are you discussing in said argument. I think that this the very thing that allows the pragmatist to bring together many people. They believe that carrying on any conversation without establishing the terms that are in discussion simply keeps people from making any headway in relationships with other people, because they are never clear about the very thing in discussion. Literally anything that you want to talk to someone about can be quantified in regards to those certain individuals' experience, and that naturally leads to open mindedness among people because you then have many different angles to examine in regards to the topic of interest. You have different experiences than I do, and with the pragmatic viewpoint, you and I have the ability to carry on a intellectual conversation with each other even though we may have different views on the same topic.

Unfortunately, the issue that I have with this viewpoint has to do with the fact that in order to engage in this viewpoint you have to accept that there is no ultimate truth. In order to see that you can converse with some one who may have a completely different view yet ultimately equally valid perspective on certain subjects, you have to be in understanding that there is no ultimate truth in any sense of the word.

1 comment:

  1. "in order to engage in this viewpoint you have to accept that there is no ultimate truth" - not really. You do have to accept that ultimate, final, absolute, unequivocal truth as a goal or standard is probably not available to resolve any given dispute, and that doing so will require careful attention to the different assumptions, definitions, and intentions of all parties. You can still subscribe to something like C.S. Peirce's notion of truth as the conclusion of ALL the experiments and inquiries we'd ever want to run. That's the condition that introduces flexibility and mutual sympathy into the discussion, without which even a pragmatic resolution is elusive.