History of Modern Philosophy
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. John Culp
April 21, 2004

I.   Pragmatism
A.   The most significant American philosophical movement
B.   Deals with the difference between the physical worlds
II.   Three reasons to know something about pragmatism
A.   Its practical
B.   It offers a unique theory of truth
C.   Sought to solve the problem between science and ethics
III.   Two major ideas of Pragmatism
A.   Truth is achieved through a method that identifies the difference a statement is made
B.   Will is crucial for thought and action
IV.   Perse's Sensible effect
A.   Something being heavy - it will fall to a group
B.   Scientific Method
1.   Public - available to everybody
2.   Self-critical
3.   Cooperative
V.   James' Pragmatic Theory of Truth
A.   You know the truth by measuring successful behavior
B.   There are different ways to come to truth - truth is plural, not singular
C.   Theories of Truth
1.   Correspondence - the statement is true if it corresponds that actual situation
2.   Coherence - a statement is true if it agrees with other theories that you hold
VI.   Importance of Will
A.   Belief - This is what makes action possible
1.   Science is the adequate way to establish belief
2.   Authority is not credible enough to establish belief
3.   Reasoning is not credible enough to establish belief
B.   3 Criteria
1.   The choice has to be between two possible choices - where either possibility could actually be the case
2.   Forced option - you have to make a choice
3.   Options have to be momentous
C.   Two ways
1.   Discovering something to be true that you wouldn't have known otherwise (i.e. Pascal's wager)
2.   Making something happen that wouldn't have happened unless you had belief