Philosophize This!

“What if truth is not a noun but an adjective we use to describe a particular type of human experience? Us not understanding the practical definitions that another person has in an argument often leads us to disagree with people that actually agree with us about what is going on in reality. So many of the disagreements we have in philosophy or any of the natural sciences are not really disagreements about reality but debates about specific words that are being used. You believe in the stuff you do because you see it as the most useful set of believes a person could ever have it really has nothing to do if they are actually true or not. You adjust your beliefs accordingly. How truthful an idea is comes down to how useful it is to us or whether it serves the function it’s meant to serve. If we have a belief that doesn’t contradict what we already know and it serves the purpose of explaining the way things are and accurately predicts things that are going to happen in the future there is no reason not to consider it to be true. True ideas are those that we can assimilate, validate, corroborate, and verify. False ideas are those we cannot. That therefore is the meaning of truth. An idea is a true idea if it serves the purpose of giving us a particular type of human experience.”

Tender minded: rationalistic, intellectualistic, idealistic, optimistic, religious, free-willist, monistic, dogmatical.

Tough minded: empiricist, sensationalistic, materialistic, pessimistic, irreligious, fatalistic, pluralistic, skeptical.


Stephen West teaching William James philosophy.