Essays On Pragmatism

Essays On Pragmatism-29
Lecture III Some Metaphysical Problems Pragmatically Considered The problem of substance. Berkeley's pragmatic treatment of material substance. It is a true claim when the individual rationalist is what is called a man of feeling, and when the individual empiricist prides himself on being hard-headed. Rationalism usually considers itself more religious than empiricism, but there is much to say about this claim, so I merely mention it.

The pragmatic issue at stake in all these problems is what do the alternatives PROMISE. For every sort of permutation and combination is possible in human nature; and if I now proceed to define more fully what I have in mind when I speak of rationalists and empiricists, by adding to each of those titles some secondary qualifying characteristics, I beg you to regard my conduct as to a certain extent arbitrary.

The problem of 'free-will.' Its relations to 'accountability.' Free-will a cosmological theory. No one can live an hour without both facts and principles, so it is a difference rather of emphasis; yet it breeds antipathies of the most pungent character between those who lay the emphasis differently; and we shall find it extraordinarily convenient to express a certain contrast in men's ways of taking their universe, by talking of the 'empiricist' and of the 'rationalist' temper. More simple and massive than are usually the men of whom the terms are predicated.

Never were as many men of a decidedly empiricist proclivity in existence as there are at the present day.

And now I come to the first positively important point which I wish to make.

THE TOUGH-MINDED Empiricist (going by 'facts'), Sensationalistic, Materialistic, Pessimistic, Irreligious, Fatalistic, Pluralistic, Sceptical.

THE TENDER-MINDED Rationalistic (going by 'principles'), Intellectualistic, Idealistic, Optimistic, Religious, Free-willist, Monistic, Dogmatical.

A number of tendencies that have always existed in philosophy have all at once become conscious of themselves collectively, and of their combined mission; and this has occurred in so many countries, and from so many different points of view, that much unconcerted statement has resulted. To avoid one misunderstanding at least, let me say that there is no logical connexion between pragmatism, as I understand it, and a doctrine which I have recently set forth as 'radical empiricism.' The latter stands on its own feet. — Some Metaphysical Problems Pragmatically Considered Lecture IV. You find an empirical philosophy that is not religious enough, and a religious philosophy that is not empirical enough for your purpose.

I have sought to unify the picture as it presents itself to my own eyes, dealing in broad strokes, and avoiding minute controversy. One may entirely reject it and still be a pragmatist. CONTENTS Preface EXPANDED CONTENTS PRAGMATISM Lecture I. If you look to the quarter where facts are most considered you find the whole tough-minded program in operation, and the 'conflict between science and religion' in full blast.

But some of us are more than mere laymen in philosophy.

And so forth—your ordinary philosophic layman never being a radical, never straightening out his system, but living vaguely in one plausible compartment of it or another to suit the temptations of successive hours.


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