Practically Speaking

I was relaxing tonight at home when the ghost of the philosopher William James appeared. I recognized him because my girlfriend is a big fan of him and has a full length echograph photograph taken of him in his bathing suit at the beach in Cannes in 1890.

He appeared to be disgruntled. I asked him if he would like some toast. Ghosts are appeased by dry, crunchy warm things. He smiled and said yes. I made the toast and he sat and enjoyed it at my kitchen table. While he chewed I admired his suit. There were no holes or frays. I was raised on horror movies, especially the zombie films, and am used to the undead being slovenly. But it turns out they tend to be well attired. I imagine they have the free time to be concerned about their appearance.

After William James finished the toast, he began to tell me how he was much closer to delineating his theory of pragmatism. I suggested that perhaps it’s nothing that one could ever completely unfold since the essence of the investigation is the questioner herself and awareness can never know itself. William James said that essentially I was correct, but the waves of investigation can never be thwarted.

I have a low tolerance for philosophy so I agreed with William James. I’ve been finding that agreeing with whatever anyone says has made my life much easier. As Charles Peirce, the founder of pragmatism said, “essentially what makes life most practical will find me burrowing into it.”

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