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Poets Questioned
Author: Thomas
Date Posted: 05/23/2017
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John Dewey was a student of the pragmatic philosophers Pierce and James. He was a mathematician. Pragmatism is based upon the philosophy of science. It seeks to find undoubtable truths. Like a scientist, the pragmatists try to disprove a fact or theory until there is no doubt. The pragmatist, however, believes there are no totally undoubtable truths, because truth can only be obtained by the future results of current events. Therefore, we never know if something is true until it proves to be so. What is accepted as a truth today, may be proven false in the future. For instance, it was at one time believed the world was flat, and the planets revolved around the earth. This was considered fact. However, when it was proven false, new ideas were accepted as facts, and will be accepted as fact until proven they are proven false. Pragmatic truths, therefore, are the future results of current events. There are no pragmatic truths or undoubtable facts, only probable truths based on empirical experience.
Descartes later claims this allows him to verify other things. He says he may be dreaming and his senses may be deceiving him, but: the imaging, qua active power, is none the less really in me, as forming part of my thinking. Again I am the being who senses, that is to say, who apprehends corporeal things as if by the organs of sense, since I do in truth see light, hear noise, feel heat. . . .this is what in me is called sensing, and as used in this precise manner is nowise other than thinking (Descartes, P. 94).
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