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View Diary: Pragmatists get things done. (49 comments)

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  •  A pragmatist is NOT (9+ / 0-)

    "someone who gets things done". You're making up your own definition.

    A pragmatist is a person who believes that the value or truth of an idea is measured by the results it produces. There is an entire philosophy, founded by Charles Peirce and William James that is based on essentially that idea. It's called, oddly enough, Pragmatism.

    Pragmatists tend to ignore ideology, revealed truth, celebrity endorsements and similar things and look instead at what James called the "cash value" (not in the monetary sense) of an idea or proposition.

    You could find ways to defend your position on pragmatic grounds, but unfortunately it would not separate you from or make you superior to other people who don't hold the same position. They can be equally pragmatic and disagree with you 100% - they just have a different point of view on what a good or useful outcome is.

    Can't rec the diary, but you are eligible for the Inigo Montoya award.

    Unemployment: 9.5% Receiving food assistance: 25%

    by badger on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 03:01:31 PM PST

    •  Don't forget perhaps (1+ / 0-)
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      the greatest of the pragmatists:  John Dewey.  Then again, he referred to himself as an experimentalist (trying to underline exactly what you're saying).  Within the framework of genuine pragmatism/experimentalism, the strategies of the so-called pragmatists would be a dismal failure and therefore worthy of being abandoned.

      •  Certainly (1+ / 0-)
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        I've only read a little of Peirce, James and Dewey, but a lot more of contemporary pragmatists like the late Richard Rorty and Daniel Dennett.

        I think they could try make a pragmatic claim after the fact - they're satisfied with the outcome - but they're not pragmatists a priori, which is an odd kind of philosophy IMO. Sounds more like expedience or concession to me.

        Unemployment: 9.5% Receiving food assistance: 25%

        by badger on Thu Nov 18, 2010 at 10:00:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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