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By John Kekes

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This, it may be argued, is the hard core of pragmatism, and while Carnap's formulation perhaps obscures it, all the same it also contains the point. The reformulated pragmatic answer is very plausible. The difficulty is that it does not, by itself, meet the sceptical challenge to rationality, for given the pragmatic answer only, no goals can be rationally justified nor can theories provide explanation. The pragmatic answer to the sceptical doubt about theories is that their justification depends on the contribution theories make toward the achievement of our goals.

Moore's point is that philosophers who doubt common sense beliefs confuse knowing their meaning with being able to give the correct analysis. " 6 The fundamentally important question that Moore has to face is: what justification is there for claiming that common sense beliefs are known with certainty if it is admitted that their correct analysis is not known? Or, to put it slightly differently: how does it follow from one's knowing the meaning of a common sense expression that one has the right to claim that the expression is certainly true?

The acceptance cannot be judged as being either true or false, because it is not an assertion. It can only be judged as being more or less expedient, fruitful, conducive to{our} aim. 11 We are urged here to sever the connection between the acceptance or rejection of a theory and its truth or falsity. Expedience, not verisimilitude, is to count as the relevant criterion of rationality. Theories are no longer expected to give an explanation, instead they are to be recipes for action. The result is that while we may be successful in action, we do not know why we are successful.

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