What Is Pragmatism, What Does It Mean?June 26, 2021
al. Pragmatismus, Fr. pragmatism, Eng. Pragmatism, Yun. pragma 1-action; 2- useful.
Peirce articulates the main principle of Pragmatism in his article titled “How to Make Our Ideas Clear” published in 1878. While expressing this principle, his aim is not to put forward a valid approach for every field, but to find a method that will help to make the meanings of concepts and propositions clear and distinct, much more limitedly.
According to Peirce’s principle, the meaning of a concept is determined by its expected results in practice. In order to determine the meaning and accuracy of a concept, it is necessary to consider what consequences will necessarily arise in practice. For Peirce, Pragmatism is neither a general worldview nor a concept of truth. He only intended by this to find a way to pinpoint meanings with precision. To say that any object is solid is to suggest that its surface cannot be drawn by the majority of other objects. The concept of this quality is one of its expected effects. For Peirce, it is not the realization of practical results, but the expectation or thought of them that is important. Because the purpose of research is to go from doubt to belief. Doubt is the unsettled and unbalanced state of thought. Doubtful thinking is one that constantly oscillates between right and wrong. What is done with the pragmatic principle is the clarification and determination of the thought. This has nothing to do with realizing the application. Determination is made by considering the result of the application.
1. The doctrine of philosophy that evaluates truth and reality unilaterally only with the results and achievements of actions; the principle of the superiority of action over knowledge and thought.
The main task of reason is not to introduce things, to inform us about things, but to enable us to act on them.
2. (in a narrow sense) The line of thought that emerged in America and England in the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century: It sees the criterion of truth in the application of knowledge; According to this understanding, what is beneficial to life is the good that takes it forward. (Main representatives: C. S. Peirce, Dewey, James, F. S. Schiller.) In terms of moral philosophy, with utilitarianism; It is identical with instrumentalism in terms of epistemology: knowledge and truth are only tools for life.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook