In response to the critique of Pavel Materna, I analyse the common conceptions of pragmatism which identify it, to different degrees, with utilitarianism. I argue that it is not difficult to defeat this kind of pragmatism (for example the debate between Bertrand Russell and William James) and to pronounce, along with Materna in his critique, that it is either mistaken or banal. I concentrate, in this article, on calling into question this pseudo-dilemma, as it is exhibited in the well-known ambiguity of Protagoras’ homo-mensura (man as the measure of all things, beings that they are, non-beings that they are not). On the first reading, which takes it to be the claim that whether it is day or night depends on my arbitrary choice, it is mistaken; on the second reading, which takes it to mean that I can easily call day “night”, and night “day”, it is banal, because this makes no change to things themselves
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