View of William JamesThe philosopher William James in his book Pragmatism (1907) wrote about the world-riddle, as follows:
- [From Pragmatism (Lecture VII) by William James:]
- "All the great single-word answers to the world's riddle, such as God, the One, Reason, Law, Spirit, Matter, Nature, Polarity, the Dialectic Process, the Idea, the Self, the Oversoul, draw the admiration that men have lavished on them from this oracular role. By amateurs in philosophy and professionals alike, the universe is represented as a queer sort of petrified sphinx whose appeal to man consists in a monotonous challenge to his divining powers. THE Truth: what a perfect idol of the rationalistic mind!"
- :::::::::: --William James, Pragmatism, 1907.
Project Gutenberg, 2002, Gutenberg.org webpage:
William James has questioned the attitude of thinking that a single answer applies to everything or everyone. In the passage, the capitalized "THE" signifies the viewpoint meaning "the one and only" absolute truth.