Essential Points

  • Charles Sanders Peirce
    • Terminology: Pragmatism, pragmaticism, practicalism, critical common-sensism, instrumentalism
    • Fixing Belief
      • Four methods: Tenacity, authority, a priori, and scientific
      • Why none but the last will work; why that one works
    • Belief and doubt
      • Belief as a habit, doubt as the lack of a habit
      • Critique of Cartesian doubt
    • Truth and reality
      • Defining truth in terms of belief and doubt
      • All beliefs are entangled with others
      • It doesn't follow that we cannot know the truth of things
      • Truth as what a community of scientific inquirers will ultimately arrive at
      • Reality as what that truth says it is
      • Giving up the quest for certainty: Fallibilism
    • Meaning
      • Restricted to intellectual concepts
      • Grades of clearness
      • Operational definitions
      • Contrast with Hume on meaning
    • Signs
      • Their triadic structure
      • Kinds of sign: Indexes, icons, and symbols
      • Kinds of interpretants:  Emotional, energetic, logical
      • The ultimate interpretant of a sign is a habit
      • How to attain more adequate habits

  • John Dewey
    • The impact of Darwin
      • Rescuing intelligence for practical ends
      • Getting over the old problems
    • Naturalizing epistemology
      • Intelligence as problem solving: The steps
      • Rejecting the representational theory: Interactionism, nature, and natural science
      • Rejecting physics as the one unique representation of nature
      • Instrumentalism: Concepts as tools; whatever works
    • Value naturalized
      • The modern problem: Expelling values from nature
      • Value begins with likings
      • The difference between the satisfying and the satisfactory
      • The role of intelligence in valuation
      • Rejecting ends in themselves
      • Thought and action dependent on each other

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