- 哲学 (ISSN:03873358)
- vol.2017, no.68, pp.215-230, 2017-04-01 (Released:2017-06-14)
William James’s pragmatism has been criticized since it was first proposed. In particular, his claim that whether an idea is true or not must depend on the effect which it has on our experiences invites the criticism that pragmatism is a form of subjectivism and anti-realism. According to this criticism, if any idea considered as useful is true, the criteria of truth set by pragmatism depend on the time and situation, and so are only arbitrary and relative; therefore, a true idea is a figment of some human imagination which has no connection with objective reality.However, James repeatedly objected to this criticism. He claimed that his pragmatism did not make truth vague and uncertain, that one could certainly get access to reality by true ideas and that in this sense he was a realist. The purpose of this study is to show, by analyzing the theory of truth in James’s pragmatism, that he understood the agreement of our ideas with reality in a different way from other theories, and constructed a characteristic realism of his own.In James’s view, truth as the agreement of an idea with reality is realized by certain actions that the idea leads to, namely, by a process of verification that one can practically follow, and reality is a mixture of sense experiences and previous truths one has already acquired. This study considers an action performed to know reality as a kind of intuition, and explains that the truth established by the action transforms reality. Reality as inevitable not only presses one to be subject to it: one can also act on and change it. James insists that an action as intuition embodies our knowledge of reality, and also contributes to the creation of reality in the sense that it newly produces truths and adds them to reality. For James, this interaction between human beings and reality, and the constant modifications occasioned by it are the actuality of our concrete world.