The Truth Is What Works

William James, Pragmatism, and the Seed of Death

By (author) Harvey Cormier

Publication date:

06 December 2000

Length of book:

176 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9780847692729

Charles Sanders Peirce complained that James allowed pragmatism to become "infected" with "seeds of death" like the idea that truth is mutable. The Truth is What Works is an attempt to defend James's pragmatic theory of truth from a wide range of critics including Peirce, Betrand Russell, Hilary Putnam, and Cornel West. Cormier runs the gauntlet of historical and contemporary criticism in an attempt to show, not that Jamesian pragmatism does in fact contain a perfectly good theory of objective reality after all, but rather that it doesn't, and is still a kind of realism anyway because it does not leave individuals and their subjective desires behind in an attempt to describe the real world.
Corimer has a good grasp of James' views, and ranges widely over his oeuvre in making his case.