January 2007

Truth and Bullshit

A distinction worth making, I think, is between cases in which the truth is important because the subject matter involved is itself important, independently of whether people know or care about it, and cases in which the truth is only derivatively important, because philosophers or others care about it, and if we get something wrong we will be in some sort of trouble with these people.

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American Pragmatism

Like any philosophical "ism," pragmatism lends itself to easily-refuted straw-man characterizations; and in any case, no doubt, there are inferior (short-sighted, self-serving, hard-nosed, unprincipled) forms of pragmatism. But the various views of Peirce, James, Dewey, Mead, and others are more sophisticated than one might think after reviewing such shallow characterizations.

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