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Pragmatism: metaphysics is meaningful only if it has practical consequences What we mean by reality is the product of our ideas and ideals, all of which.

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Presentation on theme: "Pragmatism: metaphysics is meaningful only if it has practical consequences What we mean by reality is the product of our ideas and ideals, all of which."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pragmatism: metaphysics is meaningful only if it has practical consequences What we mean by reality is the product of our ideas and ideals, all of which are creative solutions to practical problems William James ( ) John Dewey ( )

2 Logical Positivism: Metaphysics is Meaningless Statements are meaningful only if they are analytic (tautologies, true/false by definition) or empirical (based on experience) –Objection: this principle is neither, so it is meaningless Because metaphysical, aesthetic, theological and ethical statements are neither tautologies nor statements of fact, they are meaningless (or express only a feeling or emotion, not some truth) –Objection: we really don’t believe this A. J. Ayer ( )

3 Anti-realism: objects in the world depend on how they are described or perceived Postmodernism: the features of reality depend on language. Different (e.g., feminine) languages or ways of thinking identify different realities –Objection 1: this makes all realities (even sexist ones) equally valid and not open to critique –Objection 2: our descriptions of reality might vary, but not reality itself: otherwise, we could not talk about the “same” thing


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