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What is Philosophical Pragmatism - With Examples

In today's lesson we are going to discover what is philosophical pragmatism with examples, a current that establishes that it is only true and good that which provides the individual with a useful in your everyday life, the truth being the main instrument of knowledge and the mind a tool that must be used to solve problems.

In this way, pragmatism stands as a movement in which prioritize practicality on the rest of the things and, therefore, it helps us to solve all kinds of questions that arise in our day, that is, it has an application. If you want to know more about philosophical pragmatism and its application through several examples, keep reading because in a PROFESSOR we explain it to you. The class begins!

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What is pragmatism and its characteristics?

The pragmatism was born around 1870 by the hand of Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914, USA) and having among his representatives great philosophers, such as: Charles Sanders Peirce

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(1839-1914), William James (1842-1910), John dewey (1859-1952), Chauncey wright (1830-1875) or George Herbert Mead (1863-1931).

All these authors made this philosophical current one of the most important of the entire 20th century and that it was defined as that which affirms that philosophical and scientific knowledge can only be considered true based on its consequences practices. Hence, it is argued that theory is always obtained through practice (= intelligent practice) and that the only valid knowledge is that which has a utility.

Characteristics of philosophical pragmatism

The characteristics of philosophical pragmatism are as follows:

  1. States that that which has a practical value is true and the true is reduced to the useful. Therefore, the value of things is defined depending on their consequences and according to the success they have in practice = utility.
  2. States that the truth It is the instrument of knowledge and thought is valid when it is useful for our ways of life and needs. Therefore, reason would not be the only tool to obtain knowledge (= anti-rationalism), since experience turns out to be the process by which the individual reaches the information (empiricism).
  3. Discard the existence of absolute truthsSince these are not fixed or immovable, they evolve and are subject to change. In this way, pragmatism is antifundamentalist: denies the search for absolute truth or ultimate certainty and, therefore, also denies those doctrines that are based on absolute truth, whether of a religious or secular nature.
  4. He maintains that investigation It must be communal and self-critical, which must be oriented to solve doubts, invite progress, which must be carried out through an experimental / empirical method and must be destined to solve problems.
  5. From the pragmatism it is affirmed that the individual must first of all be practical. So the pragmatic person characterized by: assess the benefits and harms of an action, assess the consequences of their actions, being little emotional and very cerebral (by focusing on obtaining the objectives that are Mark).
  6. For this current the function of The philosophy is to generate or create knowledge practical and useful for our day to day. Therefore, our mind is defined as a tool that must be used to solve problems and not like the one that is destined to obtain the philosophical truth on the big questions epistemological.
  7. According to pragmatism, theory and practice are a binomial and cannot be separated, for theory is drawn from practice.
  8. The basic principles of philosophical pragmatism are three: truth, research and experience.
What is philosophical pragmatism - With examples - What is pragmatism and its characteristics?

Examples of philosophical pragmatism.

We already know that what prevails within pragmatism is practicality, utility or the effectiveness about the rest of things and, therefore, if we use our brain from that perspective, we will can resolve all issues that are presented to us in our day to day, that is, that pragmatism has a real application in all areas of our life. Therefore, below, we present six examples of pragmatism:

  • Example 1, business: Two people who get along decide to start a company by halves, but over time personal relationships get strained and get worse and worse. However, the business is increasingly profitable and both entrepreneurs decide to continue with the business even if they hardly speak to each other. Here, both people are being pragmatic because they are prioritizing their economic benefit over their personal relationship, since if they close the business they lose their job and their source of income.
  • Example 2, policy: When two political parties of different ideology come together to form a government and prevent another party from coming to power. Here, both parties renounce their ideals (they are pragmatic) and come together for a common interest: that a specific party does not govern.
  • Example 3, work: A person has studied art history with outstanding grades, however, he does not find work of his own and is offered a position as an office clerk. The person in question decides to take that job, despite the fact that he does not like it and because it implies leaving aside his real profession. However, this person has been pragmatic because that job is his only source of income.
  • Example 4, our daily life: A person who is a vegetarian in a time of scarcity and famine decides to eat meat, puts aside his principles and bothers him, but meat allows him to survive. Here, the person in question is being pragmatic, since, he has prevailed the survival in front of the ideals.
  • Example 5, our daily life: A person knows the couple to be a best friend, who does not like him at all. However, he does not say anything to his friend because he is very much in love and knows that he can hurt her. Here, the person is pragmatic insofar as he decides to value friendship over the rest, avoid hurting and putting up with his friend's partner.
  • Example 6, health: A person contracts chickenpox and automatically the doctor tells him that he must be isolated and not have contact with many people to avoid infecting it. Thus, the patient decides to pay attention and be isolated for a few days even though he is already feeling better. In this case the patient is being pragmatic, because although he does not like to be isolated, he decides that it is best to prevent chickenpox from spreading to the circle closest to him.
What is Philosophical Pragmatism - With Examples - Examples of Philosophical Pragmatism

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Sini, C. Pragmatism. Akal. 1999.

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