An anti-intellectualist theory of knowledge, making the sole criterion of truth the consequences in satisfying human needs. Thought is primarily purposive; ideas count only for their value in our experience. These values are manifold: intellectual, satisfying the logical demand for consistency and objectivity; emotional, satisfying the fundamental aspirations of our nature; practical, beneficent consequences to action, personal utility, correspondence with sentient experience. All of these are essentially subjective. While William James presents it as a theory of knowledge, and as such it is practically synonomous with Schiller's humanism, it is allied to the metaphysics of pure experience. Its modern influence, at least direct, is negligible.

New Catholic Dictionary

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