Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking
The word "pragmatism" is used everywhere today, from business to sports to politics. Although the word hadn't yet entered everyday language when William James published Pragmatism in 1907, the philosopher believed its doctrine had virtually become common sense in twentieth-century America. For James, pragmatism was a specific philosophical alternative to essentialism and foundationalism and argued that ideas are meaningful only insofar as they have practical consequences in concrete human experience; however today pragmatism has come to denote merely a general willingness to compromise principles, even to the point of selfishness or irresponsibility. Written in an engaging and accessible style, Pragmatism is a valuable corrective to modern uses of the word, since the voice that speaks in its pages embodies precisely the opposite values from the pejorative senses the word has acquired.
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WHAT PRAGMATISM MEANS
SOME METAPHYSICAL PROBLEMS
THE ONE AND THE MANY
PRAGMATISM AND COMMON SENSE
PRAGMATISMS CONCEPTION OF TRUTH
PRAGMATISM AND HUMANISM
PRAGMATISM AND RELIGION
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absolute absolute edition absolute monism abstract abstractly actual atoms beliefs better called Chauncey Wright claim common sense conceivable conception concrete connexion consequences definite difference doctrine empiricism empiricist ence eternal everything exist experience fact feel finite follow forms Frederick Myers free-will friability give human hypothesis ical ideal idealists imagine influence intel intellectual intellectualists James kind knower live logic Lowell Institute matter melioristic metaphysical Metaphysical Club mind monistic mystical nature notion object particular philosophy pluralism pluralistic possible practical prag pragmatic meaning pragmatic method pragmatist previous truths principle question radical rationalism rationalist reality reason relations religion religious Schiller Scholasticism sensations sensible sort spirit substance supposed talk temperament tender-minded theism theory things thought tion tism tough-minded Transcendental Idealism treat true ideas unified union unity universe vague verified whole William James word