Explore BrainMass

Truth: James, Wittgenstein & Heidegger's ideas

Discuss each of the following:

James - Truth is personal
Wittgenstein's Tractatus
Heidegger's Burden of Being Human

Solution Preview

Dear Student,
Hello & thank you for using Brainmass. As you requested, the solution below is concise and should get you started on this particular philosophies. Should you feel the need to expand, may I advise to utilise the listed references. Good luck!

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

William James

For American thinker William James, truth is personal. This is the synthesis of his 'pragmatic theory of truth' in that what is true depends on the quality and applicability of a certain claim in relation to observation and experience. In a way, truth for James is validated in actual practice. Truth can only be verified, for James, if it corresponds to actual, observable events and things, and if the claim in relation to it 'coheres' in such a way that puzzle pieces do. Thus he claims that 'all true processes must lead to the face of directly verifying sensible experiences somewhere'. Truth then for James is personal as it means that when you accept something as true, it 'hangs together' for you - in short you have observed it, you have experienced it, it applies in your life. Because truth is about 'agreement', then for as long as there is a disagreement on claims then for James, at least personally, to establish it as 'true' is in itself a false and unacceptable action. Here we have the notion of what philosophers call 'verisimilitude', the notion of interpretative and contextual truth wherein something is true not universally but subject to several factors and elements which in this case is the person experiencing or validating a claim or an object. Consider the idea of 'God', for the religious based on their personal experience, the existence of God is 'true', such is the nature of faith. But ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a 1,054-word narrative that explains and discusses the following concepts: William James' notion of 'Truth as personal', Ludwig Wittgenstein's 'Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus', and Martin Heidegger's 'the Burden of Being Human'. The solution is divided into 3 parts to correspond with the 3 topics of discussion. References are listed for the purpose of expansion and validation. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing.