David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Philosophical Research 36:31-34 (2011)
The pragmatic theory of truth (PTT) seeks to illuminate the concept of truth by focusing on concepts like usefulness or adaptivity. However, contrary to common opinion, PTT does not merely face a narrow band of (perhaps) rather artificial counterexamples (as in a case of empirically unfounded but life-extending optimism in a cancer patient); instead, PTT is faced with a fast psychological research literature which suggests that inaccurate beliefs are both (1) pervasive in human beings and, nonetheless, (2) fully adaptive in many cases. Call this the "pervasive adaptive illusions" (PAI) objection to PTT. According to PAI, the kind of connection drawn by PTT between the beliefs that we (intuitively or pretheoretically) regard as "true" and the beliefs we regard as useful is undercut by hard-nosed empirical work in psychology -- work that no empirically minded pragmatist can ignore. According to PAI, the connection drawn between truth and utility by PTT is subject to a simply overwhelming set of counterexamples (drawn from psychological research, and reviewed below). Thus, PTT is a theory any sensible theorist of truth must reject.
|Keywords||pragmatism theory of truth inaccurate beliefs adaptive illusions|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Harvey Cormier (2011). A Fairly Short Response to a Really Short Refutation. Journal of Philosophical Research 36:35-41.
Barry Loewer (1980). The Truth Pays. Synthese 43 (3):369 - 380.
C. J. Misak (2004). Truth and the End of Inquiry: A Peircean Account of Truth. Oxford University Press.
Bradley Dowden, Truth. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
S. Levine (2010). Habermas, Kantian Pragmatism, and Truth. Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (6):677-695.
A. Wellmer (2003). The Debate About Truth: Pragmatism Without Regulative Ideas. Critical Horizons 4 (1):29-54.
Brian Ellis (1988). Internal Realism. Synthese 76 (3):409 - 434.
Michael P. Lynch (forthcoming). The Price of Truth. In Steven Gross & Michael Williams (eds.), Pragmatism, Minimalism and Metaphysics.
Stewart Candlish, The Identity Theory of Truth. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Axel Seemann (2004). Lifeworld, Discourse, and Realism: On Jürgen Habermas’s Theory of Truth. Philosophy and Social Criticism 30 (4):503-514.
James O. Young (1991). Coherence, Anti-Realism and the Vienna Circle. Synthese 86 (3):467 - 482.
John T. Sanders (1996). Comments on Philosophy and the Dilemmas of the Contemporary World. In Józef Niznik & John T. Sanders (eds.), Debating the State of Philosophy: Habermas, Rorty, and Kolakowski. Praeger.
J. O. Young (2001). A Defence of the Coherence Theory of Truth. Journal of Philosophical Research 26 (1):89--101.
Keith Frankish (2009). Adaptive Misbelief or Judicious Pragmatic Acceptance? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):520.
Added to index2011-11-14
Total downloads58 ( #26,429 of 1,101,159 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #27,838 of 1,101,159 )
How can I increase my downloads?