03 May 2012

William James Quote

“Why do we thus so markedly select the tangible to be the real? Our motives are not far to seek. The tangible qualities are the least fluctuating. When we get them at all we get them the same. The other qualities fluctuate enormously as our relative position to the object changes. Then, most decisive still, the tactile properties are those most intimately connected with our weal or woe. A dagger hurts us only when in contact with our skin….”

Principles of Psychology, chapter 21, The Perception of Reality

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.