Discover the Practical Side of Philosophy

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is the ultimate test of truth according to classical pragmatists?

Who were the three philosophers that began pragmatism in the United States?

What is the view of instrumentalism in other fields?

What is the role of belief in representing reality in pragmatism?

What is the connection between thought and action in pragmatism?

What is the importance of meaning and value in experience according to pragmatists?

What is the focus of pragmatist ethics?

Who is considered a founder of classical pragmatism and a source of feminist theories?

What is neopragmatism and how has it been criticized?


Overview of Pragmatism

  • Pragmatism considers words and thought as tools and instruments for prediction, problem solving, and action.

  • Pragmatists reject the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, or mirror reality.

  • Pragmatism began in the United States in the 1870s with the philosophers Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and John Dewey.

  • The word "pragmatic" has existed in English since the 1500s, a word borrowed from French and ultimately derived from Greek via Latin.

  • Pragmatism challenges idealism by providing an "ecological" account of knowledge: inquiry is how organisms can get a grip on their environment.

  • The role of belief in representing reality is widely debated in pragmatism.

  • In other fields, instrumentalism is the view that concepts and theories are merely useful instruments and progress in science cannot be couched in terms of concepts and theories somehow mirroring reality.

  • Pragmatists with a broader conception of the movement do not often refer to the works of Charles W. Morris and Rudolf Carnap.

  • Pragmatism challenges the Cartesian dream of absolute certainty and separates epistemology from scientific inquiry.

  • Pragmatists criticize philosophers for taking categories for granted and causing metaphysical and conceptual confusion.

  • Pragmatism tries to explain the relation between knower and known.

  • Pragmatism reconciles anti-skepticism and fallibilism.Pragmatism: A Summary

  • Pragmatism is a philosophical approach that emphasizes the practical consequences of ideas and theories.

  • The classical pragmatists include Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and John Dewey.

  • They believed that experience is the ultimate test of truth and that ideas should be evaluated based on their practical usefulness.

  • Pragmatism has had an impact on various fields of philosophy, including logic, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, ethics, aesthetics, philosophy of religion, and education.

  • Pragmatists have criticized formal logic and argued that words only have meaning in context.

  • They have also emphasized the importance of meaning and value in experience, rejecting the idea that experience is nothing more than individual sensations.

  • Pragmatist ethics sees no fundamental difference between practical and theoretical reason and emphasizes the importance of good reasons for values.

  • John Dewey wrote extensively on morality and democracy, emphasizing the need for meaningful work and education.

  • Neopragmatism is a contemporary category used for various thinkers that incorporate important insights of, and yet significantly diverge from, the classical pragmatists.

  • Pragmatism has influenced other philosophical movements, such as logical positivism and ordinary language philosophy.

  • Pragmatism's legacy includes a focus on practical consequences and the importance of experience, meaning, and value in various fields of philosophy.

  • Pragmatism continues to be relevant in contemporary philosophy and has been embraced by scholars in bioethics and sociology.Pragmatism: Its Effects on Social Sciences, Public Administration, and Feminism

  • Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition that emphasizes the practical consequences of ideas and the connection between thought and action.

  • Pragmatism was developed by philosophers such as William James, John Dewey, and Charles Sanders Peirce in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

  • Pragmatism has ties to process philosophy, ordinary language philosophy, and behaviorism and functionalism in psychology and sociology.

  • Pragmatism emphasizes the connection between thought and action, making it applicable to fields such as public administration, political science, leadership studies, international relations, conflict resolution, and research methodology.

  • Pragmatism has influenced research in the field of public administration, with scholars claiming that classical pragmatism had a profound influence on the origin of the field.

  • There is a debate about which pragmatism (classical pragmatism or neo-pragmatism) makes the most sense in public administration.

  • Pragmatism has been used in the health sector, but its use has been criticized as incomplete in its pragmatism.

  • Feminist philosophers have rediscovered classical pragmatism as a source of feminist theories, with Jane Addams considered a founder of classical pragmatism.

  • Arthur Oncken Lovejoy argued that there is significant ambiguity in the notion of the effects of the truth of a proposition and those of belief in a proposition in order to highlight that many pragmatists had failed to recognize that distinction.

  • Celestine Bittle presented multiple criticisms of pragmatism, arguing that, in William James's pragmatism, truth is entirely subjective and is not the widely accepted definition of truth, which is correspondence to reality.

  • Bertrand Russell devoted a chapter each to James and Dewey in his book A History of Western Philosophy, pointing out areas in which he agreed with them but also ridiculed James's views on truth and Dewey's views on inquiry.

  • Neopragmatism as represented by Richard Rorty has been criticized as relativistic both by other neopragmatists such as Susan Haack and by many analytic philosophers.


Test your knowledge of Pragmatism with this quiz! From its beginnings with Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and John Dewey to its impact on various fields of philosophy, including logic, ethics, and education, this quiz will challenge your understanding of this philosophical approach that emphasizes the practical consequences of ideas and theories. Whether you are a student of philosophy or just curious about this important movement, this quiz will help you delve deeper into the key concepts and ideas of Pragmatism.

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