What is pragmatism?

  • (noun): (philosophy) the doctrine that practical consequences are the criteria of knowledge and meaning and value.
    See also — Additional definitions below


Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice. Important positions characteristic of pragmatism include instrumentalism, radical empiricism, verificationism, conceptual relativity, and fallibilism. There is general consensus among pragmatists that philosophy should take the methods and insights of modern science into account. Charles Sanders Peirce (and his pragmatic maxim) deserves most of the credit for pragmatism, along with later twentieth century contributors William James and John Dewey.

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Some articles on pragmatism:

Morris Janowitz - Ideas and Accomplishments - Pragmatism
... to Dewey's philosophy of American pragmatism at an early age, though he did not fully explore pragmatism's philosophical foundations in sociology until after founding the Heritage of Sociology series at ... Sociology had been weakly tied to pragmatism at the Chicago School through George Herbert Mead and the theory of symbolic interaction, which emphasized a micro-social research agenda(25) ... Taken together, pragmatism effected Janowitz outlook in such a way that had the overall effect of linking data with theory and generating a research agenda ...
Pragmatismo - A List of Pragmatists - Classical Pragmatists (1850-1950)
... Sanders Peirce 1839–1914 was the founder of American pragmatism (later called by Peirce pragmaticism) ... First to be widely associated with the term "pragmatism" due to Peirce's lifelong unpopularity. 1859–1952 prominent philosopher of education, referred to his brand of pragmatism as instrumentalism ...
Pragmatismo - A List of Pragmatists - Analytical, Neo- and Other Pragmatists (1950-)
... Thomas Burke 1950– Author of What Pragmatism Was (2013), Dewey's New Logic (1994) ... through the lens of classical American pragmatism ... Criticizes Rorty's and Posner's legal theories as "almost pragmatism" and authored the afterword in the collection The Revival of Pragmatism ...
Contemporary Pragmatism
... Contemporary Pragmatism (CP) is an interdisciplinary, international, academic journal for discussions of applying pragmatism, broadly understood, to today's issues ... The journal will consider articles about pragmatism written from the standpoint of any tradition and perspective, but it concentrates on original explorations of pragmatism and pragmatism's relations with humanism ... The journal welcomes both pragmatism-inspired research and criticisms of pragmatism ...

More definitions of "pragmatism":

  • (noun): The attribute of accepting the facts of life and favoring practicality and literal truth.
    Synonyms: realism