Abstract

William James once said that truth is “the good in the way of belief.” This has the ring of, well, truth. While it may appear as if James’ claim is straightforwardly true, I think that there are at least three different dimensions along which truth can be normatively related to belief. In this paper, I explore these different dimensions of truth’s value, considering both how they differ and how they relate. As we will see, our understanding of these different dimensions of truth’s value can impact our understanding of its nature. I argue that a fuller understanding of the connections between truth’s normative dimensions pushes us in a decidedly pragmatist and pluralist direction—something of which I believe James would approve.

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