By Jeffrey Brown

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Question: These are odd remarks coming from one who has advanced what purports to be a single, comprehensive, systematic account of reality, and has again and again criticized those who have presented other views. answer: I have tried to deal with my views in the same critical spirit to which I subject others. If I failed, I failed to do what a philosopher should: subject his own attempt to the same remorseless criticism to which he subjects other views. I object mainly to the attempt to keep philosophic thought within arbitrarily limited confines, making use of some not-wellexamined method, and ending with a dismissal of others for doing something else.

A Cartesian preference for clear and distinct ideas is not compromised by pointing to the merits or making use of other surrogates for commonplace or confused ideas. Pragmatists, it will become evident, are interested in using some surrogates that are different from those that Cartesians use. INTRODUCTION 23 question: Why do they quarrel with one another? answer: Because they think that a use of one kind of surrogate precludes the use of other kinds. It may—at that time. It does not do so in principle.

2. UNSHACKLED PRAGMATISM Explorations, adventures, probings, and discoveries often outrun formulae, deductions, analyses, and retreats. Adventures in scientific thought are not as different from adventures in art and philosophy as common reformulations of the conclusions and the surprisingly successful predictions of the sciences sometimes tempt one to suppose. It is unseemly for philosophers to envy and to try to imitate, at some remove, those who are interested in reaching other goals. Even if we wish to confine our studies within a restricted area, and we cherish precision and predictions, we are forced to face, if only to qualify or dismiss, many issues that are outside the provenance of the sciences.

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