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Faculty of Economics, University of Economics, Prague

Pragmatism’s Alternative to Foundationalism and Relativism (2008)

Author: J. Langseth

Article type: Standard scientific article

Section: History of Philosophy

Language: language

Abstract (english):

In this paper I examine how pragmatism—in the works of Peirce, James, Dewey, and Rorty—rejects foundationalism while not resorting to “radical relativism,” in which no is no justifiable claim for a belief. Instead of attempting to establish antecedent, a priori, or eternal principles that make evident truths, goods, or justifications thereof, independent of experience, pragmatists look towards the consequent, effective result of the maintaining of a belief as criteria for its claim as truthful or good. They emphasize trial and error experimentation and continual reflection/revision of beliefs given new information and experiences. I argue this basic methodology not only avoids the pitfalls of foundationalism, but also affords a method by which one considers the means or path towards any end as having value in and of itself.

Download/View: langseth08.pdf

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