In Pragmatism, William James attacked the transcendental, rationalist tradition in philosophy and tried to clear the ground for the doctrine he called radical empiricism. The book caused an uproar; it was greeted with praise, hostility, and ridicule. Determined to clarify the pragmatic conception of truth, James collected nine essays he had written on this subject before he wrote Pragmatism and six written later in response to criticisms of that volume by Bertrand Russell and others. He published the collection under the title "The Meaning of Truth" in 1909, the year before his death.
The Meaning of Truth shows James at his best-clear and readable as always, and full of verve and good humor. Intent upon making difficult ideas clear, he is also forceful in his effort to make them prevail.
Fredson Bowers is Linden Kent Professor of English, Emeritus, at the University of Virginia. Ignas K. Skrupskelis is Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina.
Foreword Introduction by H.S. Thayer The Meaning of Truth Notes A Note on the Editorial Method The Text of The Meaning of Truth Apparatus Emendations Textual Notes Historical Collation Alternations in the Manuscripts Word-Division Appendixes 1. Abstract of "The Knowing of Things Together" 2. Abstract of " The Meaning of the Word Truth" 3. W. James's Statement 4. Annotations in Bertrand Russell's " Transatlantic 'Truth'" 5. Four Letters from William James to James B. Pratt General Index Key to the Pagination of Editions