Friday, September 26, 2008

A Continued Dialogue on Pragmatism

Well you certainly took my brief set comments very seriously? :) Well I must say to begin James is never channeling anything close to Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard having at no time been a pragmatist, other then perhaps having taken on the role briefly in 'either/or'. Still, your term 'meta-pragmatism' seems to be painfully vague in nature and scope. Would James seriously assert that we could step out of the chain of cause and effect and make assertions about our own judgments in such away? It seems that the term 'meta-pragmatist' is not really of much use, unless granted you can provide a clear proposition which would be an example of 'meta-pragmatic' language. (I am of the opinion that this is most certainly possible, just not shown clearly up to this point.)

I am in complete agreement with you on the fact that the ‘Pro-Choice’ argument is one which is pathetic in structure and depth. I simply was pushing you for a clearer explanation, which you quite kindly provided I must say. I was trying simply to push for a definition of personhood which might provide the base for a strong assertion for or against the rights of the child in question. Potential for life is simply I would find not enough. All though to provide a interesting counter point we need only look to a point made by the late Pope John Paul the second, that “…modern genetic science offers clear confirmation. It has demonstrated that from the first instant there is established programme of what this living being will be a: a person, this individual person with his characteristic aspects already determined.” Can the ‘meta-pragmatism’ you propose provide us with grounding for person hood which is both objectively scientific in nature and subjectively suitable to the unique nature of personhood? I propose this as a question of interest alone, not a criticism.

I find that it would be far too easy for me to simply assert that my original comments where simply my personal musings over a set of terminology I find misleading and some what lacking in purpose. But I must say James is not committed in any way to making predictions about the world. James believes truth is what ever satisfies our experiences as whole. An idea is true in so far as it helps us to find its relation to other parts of experience. James more then anything is attempting, in very good Aristotelian fashion, to over come the classic problem of universals by placing truth objectively within objects as they are not as they are determined by means of rationality. In this way James clearly states time and time again that pragmatics pertains to immediate experiences not necessarily predictions about the future which may require a priori assertions about the uniformity of nature or the laws of induction.

Let see then a example of the plan English meaning of ‘post-rational.’ I hope we both have the same dictionary. :) ‘Post’ seems to mean after the fact or coming after, rational means that which is ‘agreeable to reason’. If this is the case ‘post rational’ is anything coming after that which is agreeable to reason. You of course mean to imply that it means lacking or excluding from reason. Which as such their can be no such example found in the world at our disposal. We are inherently rational beings, any statements or actions we take are based upon some rational assertion. All though it is true that we can be mistaken in our reason and in such behave irrationally we are far more likely to be mistaken in our experiences. This returns us to the pragmatic assertion that truth is simply what we find to be in agreement with the body of our experiences.

You brought several excellent points. Of which I have touched on only a few. I greatly appreciate your time; I enjoy this sort of conversation very much. I hope to hear back in response from you again soon. As such best wishes,


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