2015 | 17 | 71 - 83
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Truth, reality and science in the views of American pragmatists with regard to Charles S. Peirce and William James

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Charles Peirce is considered one of the greatest logicians in the entire recorded history of mankind. Peirce, in a consistent and free from naive realism way, showed the superiority of the scientifi c method over other methods of overcoming doubts and verifi cation of the common, but unsubstantiated views. According to Peirce, scientifi c paradigm imposes a fl owchart that can be divided into three consecutive phases. First, the initial conjecture is making or formulating hypotheses. The next two — induction and deduction — are designed to examine a particular segment of reality and verify the initial assumptions. Driven by rationality in each of these phases, one has to bear in mind the economy and efficiency of research. Published in 1907, Pragmatism constitutes an ideological manifesto in which William James presented six main approaches to the concept of pragmatism: the theory of truth, the theory of meaning, the overall achievements of knowledge, a metaphysical point of view, the method of solving philosophical disputes, and fi nally, a kind of philosophical temperament of researcher. The truth, according to James, is a kind of good, like e.g. health, happiness and money. The truth leads man to useful concepts and terms in a given situation while protecting him from the wrong, fruitless and futile way of thinking. Truth is not absolute. The criterion for the truth is its usefulness for man. A large part of the views of American pragmatists found their way into the currently dominant scientifi c paradigm. The contribution of these thinkers to the development of the theory of science as such, cannot therefore be questioned.
  • Uniwersytet Wrocławski
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