Sunday, February 29, 2004

"Prag.: - Assuredly I escape; for if truth and knowledge are terms correlative and interdependent, as I maintain they are, then wherever knowledge is conceivable truth is conceivable, wherever knowledge is possible truth is possible, wherever knowledge is actual truth is actual. Therefore when you point your first horn at me, I think of truth actual, and say it doesn't exist. It doesn't; for by hypothesis there is no knower, no ideas, no workings. I agree, however, that truth possible or virtual might exist, for a knower might possibly be brought to birth; and truth conceivable, certainly exists, for, abstractly taken, there is nothing in the nature of antediluvian events that should make the application of knowledge to them inconceivable. Therefore when you try to impale me on your second horn, I think of the truth in question as a mere abstract possibility, so I say it does exist, and side with common sense. Do not these distinctions rightly relieve me from embarrassment? And don't you think it might help you to make them yourself?"

"Anti-Prag.: - Never ! - so avaunt with your abominable hair-splitting and sophistry! Truth is truth; and never will I degrade it by identifying it with low pragmatic particulars in the way you propose. "(William James: The Meaning of Truth | Chapter 15 | A Dialogue)