Are there philosophers who maintain a distinction between what is "true" and what is "useful"? It seems that much of analytical philosophy and higher mathematics is true without being of much use, even to scientists. Scientists and engineers, on the other had, come up with many useful ideas whose truth values may be doubted by the abstract thinkers. In other words, does anyone in philosophy speak of useful untruths or useless truths?

Isn't it the other way about? Only a small number of philosophers would not maintain the distinction! For as you remark, lots of truths aren't useful in any ordinary sense (e.g. there is a fact of the matter about whether the number of grains in the rice jar yesterday was odd or even -- but the truth one way or the other is no use now to man or beast); and lots of claims which are strictly false can be useful (quick and dirty approximations that do us well enough.

So to tie the ideas of what is true and what is useful together will need, for a start, bending the idea of the useful into something fairly remote from its common-or-garden sense, and we will also probably have to be pretty revisionary about what counts as true, in a way that few philosophers will be happy with.

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