The Truth According to James
By Andre Fuhrmann
In this paper I shall be mainly concerned with James’s thesis that pragmatist truth is absolute. James tried to safeguard this aspect of pragmatist truth by means of a particular version of the convergence thesis. But before turning to this aspect of his theory, I shall begin by briefly reviewing James’s view of how the three theses are to be integrated into a pragmatist theory of truth. I shall then discuss in some detail James’s theory of absolute truth as it emerges in a discussion of a supposed problem case for any evidence-constraint theory of truth such as James’s. This is the case of past events that have left no evidential traces. James’s theory of absolute truth, so I shall argue, is a close cousin to Crispin Wright’s theory of superassertibility.
Appeared in Pragmatism Today, ed. A. Fuhrmann and E. Olsson