2011 Presidential Address: American Pragmatism and Indispensability Arguments1

  • Misak C
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Pragmatists have always made use of indispensability arguments. This paper starts with a debate that raged between the founders of pragmatism over William James's idea that if it is good for me to believe that p is true, then I ought to believe that p is true. Chauncey Wright and C. S. Peirce took James to task and Peirce put forward an argument about how we need to hope that the regulative assumptions of inquiry are true. This insight was later picked up by C. I. Lewis and W. V. O. Quine, who argued that a priori "truths" are not necessarily true. They are simply what we need to articulate our world view. The paper concludes with some remarks about where the future of pragmatism lies. PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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  • Cheryl Misak

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