Saturday, January 5, 2013

Disabusing Cartesian Interpretations of Pragmatic Theories of Experience


This is what I am doing on my birthday, and I'm quite enjoying it, thank you. Here's an idea of what it's about.

Don't ask whether the idea is true of the world. Ask what causes the experience of truth; that "experience of truth" is "true" in a formal and real, rather than phenomenal, sense only if that experience leads to predicting and securing anticipated future experiences. This is not only a description of what a pragmatist should think about truth, but is also a biological and ecological description. It is this last point that is so often missed by the causal reader of pragmatism, who overlooks the fact that two of the three founding members were also clinical physiological psychologists.

3 comments:

  1. "clinical" as in practicing?
    happy bday
    -dmf

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  2. Ah, that's a good point. I should have been more specific and wrote "experimental," or perhaps the more contemporary word "empirical." "Clinical" usually implies "therapeutic," yet the implication is not necessary, and neither were interested in conventional therapeutic psychology. I need a word with the same denotation as "clinical" but without the therapeutic implication, and the only way I can think to convey that is awkward and wordy.

    My point was to indicate that their thinking was more than just a speculative theory for which the primary criterion of adequacy was logical. I read far too much contemporary philosophy that does that.

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  3. gotcha, in the current context "experimental" should do the trick, coming from the world of lab-psych, via post-phenomenology, this was an easy transition for me into James and co.
    -dmf

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