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詹姆斯首先介绍了实用主义的方法,以及它如何有助于解决形而上学的争论。在这个例子中,詹姆斯举了一个关于世界是一个还是多个的争论的例子。事实上,宗教和科学的争论已经被提出来解释地球是一个还是多个。James认为在观点上没有实际的差异,因此概念是无止境的(James, 94),意思是在这种情况下,概念语用方法的应用是推断每个论点各自的后果,例如从科学和宗教。如果实用主义证明这些论点之间没有实际的区别,那么它们基本上是相同的(James, 94)。这个例子提出了詹姆斯的主要论点,语用方法可以用来解决来自不同学派的争论。如果争论双方都没有表现出明显的差异,这将使他们的争论正确,因为分歧是无意义的(James, 94),因此,这种区别没有意义或没有意义。例如,在《世界的数量》的论证中,科学可能会宣称有一些世界,而宗教则坚持认为只有一个世界暗示了两种观点没有实际差别。


James begins his analysis by presenting the pragmatic method and how it can help in solving metaphysical disputes. In this instance, James gives the example of the arguments surrounding the question of whether the world is one or many. Indeed, religious and scientific arguments have been advanced to explain whether the earth is one or many. James argues that there is no practical difference in the viewpoints hence the notions are unending (James, 94) meaning that the application of the concept pragmatic method in such a case is to deduce the respective consequences of each argument, for example from science and religion. If pragmatism demonstrates that there is no practical difference between the arguments, then they are principally the same (James, 94). This example brings out James’s primary thesis that the pragmatic method can be used to resolve the disputes that arise from different schools of thought. If both parties in the argument do not present a considerable difference that would make their argument correct since the disagreement is idle (James, 94), therefore, the distinction makes no sense or has no meaning. For example, in the argument in the number of worlds, science may make a claim that there are some worlds while religion maintains that there is the only one which implies that there is no practical difference in both arguments.


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