[MD] Good and Truth in Platonic system

david buchanan dmbuchanan at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 14 12:50:39 PST 2012

dmb said:
Pirsig's pragmatic truths are neither of those things. They don't correspond to anything or any thing, although they do have to agree with experience.

Ron replied:
I think we have to be careful with using that assertion Dave, that pragmatic truths have to "agree" with experience.

dmb says:
I was being careful to use the same word that James and Pirsig use. They both say that truths must "agree" with experience - as opposed to "corresponding" to things-in-themselves or reality as it really is.

Ron continued:
Because to correspond is to agree and if I understand pragmatic truth it has to do with how well an idea "performs" in experience, how succesful it is in regard to our aims.

dmb says:
Well, you're equating correspondence and agreement, whereas I had just distinguished them or contrasted them. To say that true ideas are the ones that actually work when you act on them is agreement with experience but NOT correspondence to objective reality. The latter depends on the assumptions of subject-object metaphysics whereas pragmatic truth begins by rejecting those assumptions.

Ron said:
Because experience, can be misleading and colored. It can be distorted and exaggerated. To say that experience is reality is not to imply that experience is what is "true".

dmb says:
I think it doesn't make any sense to say that experience is true. Or false. 
Ideas, beliefs, claims, and other conceptual matters can be true or false. Experience can't be right or wrong but it is real. Ideas are supposed to be tested and made true or false by empirical reality, but experience itself is not true or false. It just is. 
And, no, of course experience doesn't automatically generate the perfect truth and we're constantly adjusting our understanding of things as new experience unfolds. That's how we can realize the distortions and mistakes as well as the clarifications and corrections. All these things occur within experience, within the empirical reality. 


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