D O C U M E N T 4 8 0 A P R I L 1 9 2 5 4 7 7
Fond greetings to you all, as nephew, son-in-law, husband, step- and father-in-
I’ll be getting your letters only in Rio on the ship. I’m still healthy and chipper.
479. On Ideals
[Einstein 1925n]
Published 28 April 1925
In: La Prensa 28 April 1925, p. 10.
[See documentary edition for English text.]
480. To Carlos Vaz Ferreira
[Montevideo,] 29 April [1925]
Dear Mr. Vaz Ferreira,
Thank you very much for the precious gift you gave me.[1] I have already begun
to read your work on pragmatism.[2] I am not a pragmatist. I find that it gives quite
an imperfect definition of the truth. But if I were a pragmatist, I would respond to
your criticism of pragmatism[3] in the following manner: “I do not give a definition
of the truth because the truth doesn’t exist. One can only give a definition of ‘truth
of a statement in relation to a given and well-determined (limited) complex of con-
sequences.’ A statement that is ‘true’ relative to a certain system restrained by con-
sequences is no longer true relative to a system further expanded by consequences.”
I add that I do not see the problem in this way; but if one considers things in this
manner, then the error that you mention disappears. But I concede to you that this
remark changes nothing for your criticism of the use that James[4] makes of his
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