Now however fixed these elements of reality may be, we still have a certain freedom in our dealings with them. Take our sensations. That they are is undoubtedly beyond our control; but which we attend to, note, and make emphatic in our conclusions depends on our own interests; and according as we lay the emphasis here or there, quite different formulations of the truth result. “Waterloo”, with the same fixed details, spells a “victory” for an Englishman; for a Frenchman it spells a “defeat”. So, for an optimist philosopher the universe spells victory, for a pessimist, defeat.
- Pg 108, Pragmatism – William James, ISBN 978-0-7607-4996-8