William James was an American psychologist of the late nineteenth century. He studied to become a physician, and was the first educator to offer a university course in psychology. His writings illuminate a number aspects about human thought that are still considered true today, and one of the most cited psychologists in the 20th century.
“The most ancient parts of truth . . . also once were plastic. They also were called true for human reasons. They also mediated between still earlier truths and what in those days were novel observations. Purely objective truth, truth in whose establishment the function of giving human satisfaction in marrying previous parts of experience with newer parts played no role whatsoever, is nowhere to be found. The reasons why we call things true is the reason why they are true, for ‘to be true’ means only to perform this marriage-function.”