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.