The Info List - Pragmatism

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PRAGMATISM is a philosophical tradition that began in the United States around 1870. Its origins are often attributed to the philosophers William James , John Dewey , and Charles Sanders Peirce . Peirce later described it in his pragmatic maxim : "Consider the practical effects of the objects of your conception. Then, your conception of those effects is the whole of your conception of the object."

Pragmatism considers thought an instrument or tool for prediction, problem solving and action, and rejects the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, or mirror reality. Pragmatists contend that most philosophical topics—such as the nature of knowledge, language, concepts, meaning, belief, and science—are all best viewed in terms of their practical uses and successes. The philosophy of pragmatism "emphasizes the practical application of ideas by acting on them to actually test them in human experiences". Pragmatism focuses on a "changing universe rather than an unchanging one as the Idealists, Realists and Thomists had claimed".


* 1 Origins

* 2 Core tenets

* 2.1 Anti-reification of concepts and theories * 2.2 Naturalism and anti- Cartesianism * 2.3 Reconciliation of anti-skepticism and fallibilism * 2.4 Pragmatist theory of truth and epistemology

* 3 In other fields of philosophy

* 3.1 Philosophy of science * 3.2 Logic * 3.3 Metaphysics * 3.4 Philosophy of mind * 3.5 Ethics * 3.6 Aesthetics * 3.7 Philosophy of religion

* 4 Analytical, neoclassical, and neopragmatism

* 5 Legacy and contemporary relevance

* 5.1 Effects on social sciences * 5.2 Effects on public administration * 5.3 Effects on feminism * 5.4 Effects on urbanism

* 6 Criticisms

* 7 List of pragmatists

* 7.1 Classical pragmatists (1850–1950) * 7.2 Neoclassical pragmatists (1950–present)

* 7.3 Analytical, neo- and other pragmatists (1950–present)

* 7.3.1 Pragmatists in the extended sense

* 8 See also * 9 References * 10 Sources

* 11 Further reading

* 11.1 Additional bibliography

* 12 External links


Charles Peirce (/ˈpɜːrs/ like "purse"): the American polymath who first identified pragmatism

Pragmatism as a philosophical movement began in the United States in the 1870s. Charles Sanders Peirce (and his Pragmatic Maxim) is given credit for its development, along with later twentieth century contributors, William James and John Dewey . Its direction was determined by The Metaphysical Club members Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and Chauncey Wright , as well as John Dewey and George Herbert Mead .

The first use in print of the name _pragmatism_ was in 1898 by James, who credited Peirce with coining the term during the early 1870s. James regarded Peirce's 1877–8 "Illustrations of the Logic of Science" series (including "The Fixation of Belief", 1877 and especially "How to Make Our Ideas Clear", 1878) as the foundation of pragmatism . Peirce in turn wrote in 1906 that Nicholas St. John Green had been instrumental by emphasizing the importance of applying Alexander Bain 's definition of belief, which was "that upon which a man is prepared to act". Peirce wrote that "from this definition, pragmatism is scarce more than a corollary; so that I am disposed to think of him as the grandfather of pragmatism". John Shook has said, " Chauncey Wright also deserves considerable credit, for as both Peirce and James recall, it was Wright who demanded a phenomenalist and fallibilist empiricism as an alternative to rationalistic speculation."

Peirce developed the idea that inquiry depends on real doubt, not mere verbal or hyperbolic doubt , and said, in order to understand a conception in a fruitful way, "Consider the practical effects of the objects of your conception. Then, your conception of those effects is the whole of your conception of the object", which he later called the pragmatic maxim . It equates any conception of an object to the general extent of the conceivable implications for informed practice of that object's effects. This is the heart of his pragmatism as a method of experimentational mental reflection arriving at conceptions in terms of conceivable confirmatory and disconfirmatory circumstances—a method hospitable to the generation of explanatory hypotheses, and conducive to the employment and improvement of verification. Typical of Peirce is his concern with inference to explanatory hypotheses as outside the usual foundational alternative between deductivist rationalism and inductivist empiricism, although he was a mathematical logician and a founder of statistics .

Peirce lectured and further wrote on pragmatism to make clear his own interpretation. While framing a conception's meaning in terms of conceivable tests, Peirce emphasized that, since a conception is general, its meaning, its intellectual purport, equates to its acceptance's implications for general practice, rather than to any definite set of real effects (or test results); a conception's clarified meaning points toward its conceivable verifications, but the outcomes are not meanings, but individual upshots. Peirce in 1905 coined the new name pragmaticism "for the precise purpose of expressing the original definition", saying that "all went happily" with James's and Schiller's variant uses of the old name "pragmatism" and that he nonetheless coined the new name because of the old name's growing use in "literary journals, where it gets abused". Yet in a 1906 manuscript he cited as causes his differences with James and Schiller. and, in a 1908 publication, his differences with James as well as literary author Giovanni Papini . Peirce in any case regarded his views that truth is immutable and infinity is real, as being opposed by the other pragmatists, but he remained allied with them on other issues.

Pragmatism enjoyed renewed attention after Willard Van Orman Quine and Wilfrid Sellars used a revised pragmatism to criticize logical positivism in the 1960s. Inspired by the work of Quine and Sellars, a brand of pragmatism known sometimes as neopragmatism gained influence through Richard Rorty , the most influential of the late twentieth century pragmatists along with Hilary Putnam and Robert Brandom . Contemporary pragmatism may be broadly divided into a strict analytic tradition and a "neo-classical" pragmatism (such as Susan Haack ) that adheres to the work of Peirce, James, and Dewey.

Inspiration for various pragmatists included:

* Francis Bacon who coined the saying _ipsa scientia potestas est_ ("knowledge itself is power") * David Hume for his naturalistic account of knowledge and action * Thomas Reid , for his direct realism * Immanuel Kant , for his idealism and from whom Peirce derives the name "pragmatism" * G. W. F. Hegel who introduced temporality into philosophy (Pinkard in Misak 2007) * J. S. Mill for his nominalism and empiricism * George Berkeley for his project to eliminate all unclear concepts from philosophy (Peirce 8:33) * Henri Bergson who influenced William James to renounce intellectualism and logical methods


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A few of the various but interrelated positions often characteristic of philosophers working from a pragmatist approach include:

* EPISTEMOLOGY (JUSTIFICATION): a coherentist theory of justification that rejects the claim that all knowledge and justified belief rest ultimately on a foundation of noninferential knowledge or justified belief. Coherentists hold that justification is solely a function of some relationship between beliefs, none of which are privileged beliefs in the way maintained by foundationalist theories of justification. * EPISTEMOLOGY (TRUTH): a deflationary or pragmatist theory of truth; the former is the epistemological claim that assertions that predicate truth of a statement do not attribute a property called truth to such a statement while the latter is the epistemological claim that assertions that predicate truth of a statement attribute the property of useful-to-believe to such a statement. * METAPHYSICS : a pluralist view that there is more than one sound way to conceptualize the world and its content. * PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE : an instrumentalist and scientific anti-realist view that a scientific concept or theory should be evaluated by how effectively it explains and predicts phenomena, as opposed to how accurately it describes objective reality. * PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE : an anti-representationalist view that rejects analyzing the semantic meaning of propositions, mental states, and statements in terms of a correspondence or representational relationship and instead analyzes semantic meaning in terms of notions like dispositions to action, inferential relationships, and/or functional roles (e.g. behaviorism and inferentialism ). Not to be confused with pragmatics , a sub-field of linguistics with no relation to philosophical pragmatism. * Additionally, forms of empiricism , fallibilism , verificationism , and a Quinean naturalist metaphilosophy are all commonly elements of pragmatist philosophies. Many pragmatists are epistemological relativists and see this to be an important facet of their pragmatism, but this is controversial and other pragmatists argue such relativism to be seriously misguided (e.g. Hilary Putnam , Susan Haack ).


Dewey, in _The Quest For Certainty_, criticized what he called "the philosophical fallacy":- philosophers often take categories (such as the mental and the physical) for granted because they don't realize that these are merely nominal concepts that were invented to help solve specific problems. This causes metaphysical and conceptual confusion. Various examples are the "ultimate Being " of Hegelian philosophers, the belief in a "realm of value ", the idea that logic, because it is an abstraction from concrete thought, has nothing to do with the act of concrete thinking, and so on. David L. Hildebrand sums up the problem: "Perceptual inattention to the specific functions comprising inquiry led realists and idealists alike to formulate accounts of knowledge that project the products of extensive abstraction back onto experience." (Hildebrand 2003)


From the outset, pragmatists wanted to reform philosophy and bring it more in line with the scientific method as they understood it. They argued that idealist and realist philosophy had a tendency to present human knowledge as something beyond what science could grasp. They held that these philosophies then resorted either to a phenomenology inspired by Kant or to correspondence theories of knowledge and truth . Pragmatists criticized the former for its a priorism , and the latter because it takes correspondence as an unanalyzable fact. Pragmatism instead tries to explain the relation between _knower_ and _known_.

In 1868, C.S. Peirce argued that there is no power of _intuition_ in the sense of a cognition unconditioned by inference, and no power of introspection, intuitive or otherwise, and that awareness of an internal world is by hypothetical inference from external facts. Introspection and intuition were staple philosophical tools at least since Descartes. He argued that there is no absolutely first cognition in a cognitive process; such a process has its beginning but can always be analyzed into finer cognitive stages. That which we call introspection does not give privileged access to knowledge about the mind—the self is a concept that is derived from our interaction with the external world and not the other way around (De Waal 2005, pp. 7–10). At the same time he held persistently that pragmatism and epistemology in general could not be derived from principles of psychology understood as a special science: what we _do_ think is too different from what we _should_ think; in his "Illustrations of the Logic of Science " series, Peirce formulated both pragmatism and principles of statistics as aspects of scientific method in general. This is an important point of disagreement with most other pragmatists, who advocate a more thorough naturalism and psychologism.

Richard Rorty expanded on these and other arguments in _Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature _ in which he criticized attempts by many philosophers of science to carve out a space for epistemology that is entirely unrelated to—and sometimes thought of as superior to—the empirical sciences. W.V. Quine, instrumental in bringing naturalized epistemology back into favor with his essay _ Epistemology Naturalized_ (Quine 1969), also criticized 'traditional' epistemology and its "Cartesian dream" of absolute certainty. The dream, he argued, was impossible in practice as well as misguided in theory, because it separates epistemology from scientific inquiry. Hilary Putnam asserts that the combination of antiskepticism and fallibilism is a central feature of pragmatism.


Hilary Putnam has suggested that the reconciliation of anti-skepticism and fallibilism is the central goal of American pragmatism. Although all human knowledge is partial, with no ability to take a 'God's-eye-view,' this does not necessitate a globalized skeptical attitude, a radical philosophical skepticism (as distinguished from that which is called scientific skepticism ). Peirce insisted that (1) in reasoning, there is the presupposition, and at least the hope, that truth and the real are discoverable and _would_ be discovered, sooner or later but still inevitably, by investigation taken far enough, and (2) contrary to Descartes' famous and influential methodology in the _Meditations on First Philosophy _, doubt cannot be feigned or created by verbal _fiat_ to motivate fruitful inquiry, and much less can philosophy begin in universal doubt. Doubt, like belief, requires justification. Genuine doubt irritates and inhibits, in the sense that belief is that upon which one is prepared to act. It arises from confrontation with some specific recalcitrant matter of fact (which Dewey called a 'situation'), which unsettles our belief in some specific proposition. Inquiry is then the rationally self-controlled process of attempting to return to a settled state of belief about the matter. Note that anti-skepticism is a reaction to modern academic skepticism in the wake of Descartes. The pragmatist insistence that all knowledge is tentative is quite congenial to the older skeptical tradition.


Main article: Pragmatic theory of truth

Pragmatism was not the first to apply evolution to theories of knowledge: Schopenhauer advocated a _biological idealism_ as what's useful to an organism to believe might differ wildly from what is true. Here knowledge and action are portrayed as two separate spheres with an absolute or transcendental truth above and beyond any sort of inquiry organisms used to cope with life. Pragmatism challenges this idealism by providing an "ecological" account of knowledge: inquiry is how organisms can get a grip on their environment. _Real_ and _true_ are functional labels in inquiry and cannot be understood outside of this context. It is not _realist_ in a traditionally robust sense of realism (what Hilary Putnam would later call metaphysical realism ), but it is realist in how it acknowledges an external world which must be dealt with.

Many of James' best-turned phrases—_truth's cash value_ (James 1907, p. 200) and _the true is only the expedient in our way of thinking_ (James 1907, p. 222)—were taken out of context and caricatured in contemporary literature as representing the view where any idea with practical utility is true. William James wrote:

It is high time to urge the use of a little imagination in philosophy. The unwillingness of some of our critics to read any but the silliest of possible meanings into our statements is as discreditable to their imaginations as anything I know in recent philosophic history. Schiller says the truth is that which 'works.' Thereupon he is treated as one who limits verification to the lowest material utilities. Dewey says truth is what gives 'satisfaction'! He is treated as one who believes in calling everything true which, if it were true, would be pleasant. (James 1907, p. 90)

In reality, James asserts, the theory is a great deal more subtle. (See Dewey 1910 for a 'FAQ')

The role of belief in representing reality is widely debated in pragmatism. Is a belief valid when it represents reality? _Copying is one (and only one) genuine mode of knowing,_ (James 1907, p. 91). Are beliefs dispositions which qualify as true or false depending on how helpful they prove in inquiry and in action? Is it only in the struggle of intelligent organisms with the surrounding environment that beliefs acquire meaning? Does a belief only become true when it succeeds in this struggle? In Pragmatism nothing practical or useful is held to be necessarily true , nor is anything which helps to survive merely in the short term. For example, to believe my cheating spouse is faithful may help me feel better now, but it is certainly not useful from a more long-term perspective because it doesn't accord with the facts (and is therefore not true).


While pragmatism started out simply as a criterion of meaning, it quickly expanded to become a full-fledged epistemology with wide-ranging implications for the entire philosophical field. Pragmatists who work in these fields share a common inspiration, but their work is diverse and there are no received views.


In the philosophy of science, instrumentalism is the view that concepts and theories are merely useful instruments and progress in science cannot be couched in terms of concepts and theories somehow mirroring reality. Instrumentalist philosophers often define scientific progress as nothing more than an improvement in explaining and predicting phenomena. Instrumentalism does not state that truth doesn't matter, but rather provides a specific answer to the question of what truth and falsity mean and how they function in science.

One of C.I. Lewis ' main arguments in _ Mind and the World Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge_ was that science does not merely provide a copy of reality but must work with conceptual systems and that those are chosen for pragmatic reasons, that is, because they aid inquiry. Lewis' own development of multiple modal logics is a case in point. Lewis is sometimes called a 'conceptual pragmatist' because of this. (Lewis 1929)

Another development is the cooperation of logical positivism and pragmatism in the works of Charles W. Morris and Rudolf Carnap . The influence of pragmatism on these writers is mostly limited to the incorporation of the pragmatic maxim into their epistemology. Pragmatists with a broader conception of the movement don't often refer to them.

W. V. Quine 's paper "Two Dogmas of Empiricism ", published 1951, is one of the most celebrated papers of twentieth-century philosophy in the analytic tradition. The paper is an attack on two central tenets of the logical positivists' philosophy. One is the distinction between analytic statements (tautologies and contradictions) whose truth (or falsehood) is a function of the meanings of the words in the statement ('all bachelors are unmarried'), and synthetic statements, whose truth (or falsehood) is a function of (contingent) states of affairs. The other is reductionism, the theory that each meaningful statement gets its meaning from some logical construction of terms which refers exclusively to immediate experience. Quine's argument brings to mind Peirce's insistence that axioms aren't a priori truths but synthetic statements.


Later in his life Schiller became famous for his attacks on logic in his textbook, _Formal Logic_. By then, Schiller's pragmatism had become the nearest of any of the classical pragmatists to an ordinary language philosophy . Schiller sought to undermine the very possibility of formal logic, by showing that words only had meaning when used in context. The least famous of Schiller's main works was the constructive sequel to his destructive book _Formal Logic_. In this sequel, _ Logic for Use_, Schiller attempted to construct a new logic to replace the formal logic that he had criticized in _Formal Logic_. What he offers is something philosophers would recognize today as a logic covering the context of discovery and the hypothetico-deductive method.

Whereas F.C.S. Schiller dismissed the possibility of formal logic, most pragmatists are critical rather of its pretension to ultimate validity and see logic as one logical tool among others—or perhaps, considering the multitude of formal logics, one _set_ of tools among others. This is the view of C.I. Lewis. C.S. Peirce developed multiple methods for doing formal logic.

Stephen Toulmin's _The Uses of Argument_ inspired scholars in informal logic and rhetoric studies (although it is an epistemological work).


James and Dewey were empirical thinkers in the most straightforward fashion: experience is the ultimate test and experience is what needs to be explained. They were dissatisfied with ordinary empiricism because in the tradition dating from Hume, empiricists had a tendency to think of experience as nothing more than individual sensations. To the pragmatists, this went against the spirit of empiricism: we should try to explain all that is given in experience including connections and meaning, instead of explaining them away and positing sense data as the ultimate reality. Radical empiricism , or Immediate Empiricism in Dewey's words, wants to give a place to meaning and value instead of explaining them away as subjective additions to a world of whizzing atoms. _ The "Chicago Club" including Mead, Dewey, Angell, and Moore. Pragmatism is sometimes called American Pragmatism_ because so many of its proponents were and are Americans.

William James gives an interesting example of this philosophical shortcoming:

began by saying that he had always taken for granted that when you entered a philosophic classroom you had to open relations with a universe entirely distinct from the one you left behind you in the street. The two were supposed, he said, to have so little to do with each other, that you could not possibly occupy your mind with them at the same time. The world of concrete personal experiences to which the street belongs is multitudinous beyond imagination, tangled, muddy, painful and perplexed. The world to which your philosophy-professor introduces you is simple, clean and noble. The contradictions of real life are absent from it. In point of fact it is far less an account of this actual world than a clear addition built upon it It is no explanation of our concrete universe (James 1907, pp. 8–9)

F.C.S. Schiller 's first book, _Riddles of the Sphinx_, was published before he became aware of the growing pragmatist movement taking place in America. In it, Schiller argues for a middle ground between materialism and absolute metaphysics. These opposites are comparable to what William James called tough-minded empiricism and tender-minded rationalism. Schiller contends on the one hand that mechanistic naturalism cannot make sense of the "higher" aspects of our world. These include freewill, consciousness, purpose, universals and some would add God. On the other hand, abstract metaphysics cannot make sense of the "lower" aspects of our world (e.g. the imperfect, change, physicality). While Schiller is vague about the exact sort of middle ground he is trying to establish, he suggests that metaphysics is a tool that can aid inquiry, but that it is valuable only insofar as it does help in explanation.

In the second half of the twentieth century, Stephen Toulmin argued that the need to distinguish between reality and appearance only arises within an explanatory scheme and therefore that there is no point in asking what 'ultimate reality' consists of. More recently, a similar idea has been suggested by the postanalytical philosopher Daniel Dennett , who argues that anyone who wants to understand the world has to acknowledge both the 'syntactical' aspects of reality (i.e., whizzing atoms) and its emergent or 'semantic' properties (i.e., meaning and value).

Radical Empiricism gives interesting answers to questions about the limits of science if there are any, the nature of meaning and value and the workability of reductionism . These questions feature prominently in current debates about the relationship between religion and science , where it is often assumed—most pragmatists would disagree—that science degrades everything that is meaningful into 'merely' physical phenomena .


Both John Dewey in _Experience and Nature_ (1929) and half a century later Richard Rorty in his _ Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature_ (1979) argued that much of the debate about the relation of the mind to the body results from conceptual confusions. They argue instead that there is no need to posit the mind or mindstuff as an ontological category.

Pragmatists disagree over whether philosophers ought to adopt a quietist or a naturalist stance toward the mind-body problem. The former (Rorty among them) want to do away with the problem because they believe it's a pseudo-problem, whereas the latter believe that it is a meaningful empirical question.


Main article: Pragmatic ethics

Pragmatism sees no fundamental difference between practical and theoretical reason, nor any ontological difference between facts and values. Both facts and values have cognitive content: knowledge is what we should believe; values are hypotheses about what is good in action. Pragmatist ethics is broadly humanist because it sees no ultimate test of morality beyond what matters for us as humans. Good values are those for which we have good reasons, viz. the Good Reasons approach . The pragmatist formulation pre-dates those of other philosophers who have stressed important similarities between values and facts such as Jerome Schneewind and John Searle . William James tried to show the meaningfulness of (some kinds of) spirituality but, like other pragmatists, did not see religion as the basis of meaning or morality.

William James' contribution to ethics, as laid out in his essay _The Will to Believe_ has often been misunderstood as a plea for relativism or irrationality. On its own terms it argues that ethics always involves a certain degree of trust or faith and that we cannot always wait for adequate proof when making moral decisions.

Moral questions immediately present themselves as questions whose solution cannot wait for sensible proof. A moral question is a question not of what sensibly exists, but of what is good, or would be good if it did exist. A social organism of any sort whatever, large or small, is what it is because each member proceeds to his own duty with a trust that the other members will simultaneously do theirs. Wherever a desired result is achieved by the co-operation of many independent persons, its existence as a fact is a pure consequence of the precursive faith in one another of those immediately concerned. A government, an army, a commercial system, a ship, a college, an athletic team, all exist on this condition, without which not only is nothing achieved, but nothing is even attempted. (The Will to Believe James 1896)

Of the classical pragmatists, JOHN DEWEY wrote most extensively about morality and democracy. (Edel 1993) In his classic article _Three Independent Factors in Morals_ (Dewey 1930), he tried to integrate three basic philosophical perspectives on morality: the right, the virtuous and the good. He held that while all three provide meaningful ways to think about moral questions, the possibility of conflict among the three elements cannot always be easily solved. (Anderson, SEP)

Dewey also criticized the dichotomy between MEANS AND ENDS which he saw as responsible for the degradation of our everyday working lives and education, both conceived as merely a means to an end. He stressed the need for meaningful labor and a conception of education that viewed it not as a preparation for life but as life itself. (Dewey 2004 ch. 7; Dewey 1997 , p. 47)

Dewey was opposed to other ethical philosophies of his time, notably the emotivism of Alfred Ayer . Dewey envisioned the possibility of ethics as an experimental discipline, and thought values could best be characterized not as feelings or imperatives, but as hypotheses about what actions will lead to satisfactory results or what he termed _consummatory experience_. A further implication of this view is that ethics is a fallible undertaking, since human beings are frequently unable to know what would satisfy them.

During the late 1900s and first decade of 2000, pragmatism was embraced by many in the field of bioethics led by the philosophers John Lachs and his student Glenn McGee , whose 1997 book "'The Perfect Baby: A Pragmatic Approach to Genetic Engineering'" (see designer baby ) garnered praise from within classical American philosophy and criticism from bioethics for its development of a theory of pragmatic bioethics and its rejection of the principalism theory then in vogue in medical ethics . An anthology published by The MIT Press, "'Pragmatic Bioethics'" included the responses of philosophers to that debate, including Micah Hester, Griffin Trotter and others many of whom developed their own theories based on the work of Dewey, Peirce, Royce and others. Lachs himself developed several applications of pragmatism to bioethics independent of but extending from the work of Dewey and James.

A recent pragmatist contribution to meta-ethics is Todd Lekan's "Making Morality" (Lekan 2003). Lekan argues that morality is a fallible but rational practice and that it has traditionally been misconceived as based on theory or principles. Instead, he argues, theory and rules arise as tools to make practice more intelligent.


John Dewey's _Art as Experience_, based on the William James lectures he delivered at Harvard , was an attempt to show the integrity of art, culture and everyday experience. (Field, IEP) Art, for Dewey, is or should be a part of everyone's creative lives and not just the privilege of a select group of artists. He also emphasizes that the audience is more than a passive recipient. Dewey's treatment of art was a move away from the transcendental approach to aesthetics in the wake of Immanuel Kant who emphasized the unique character of art and the disinterested nature of aesthetic appreciation. A notable contemporary pragmatist aesthetician is Joseph Margolis . He defines a work of art as "a physically embodied, culturally emergent entity", a human "utterance" that isn't an ontological quirk but in line with other human activity and culture in general. He emphasizes that works of art are complex and difficult to fathom, and that no determinate interpretation can be given.


Both Dewey and James investigated the role that religion can still play in contemporary society, the former in _A Common Faith_ and the latter in _The Varieties of Religious Experience_.

From a general point of view, for William James, something is true _only insofar_ as it works. Thus, the statement, for example, that prayer is heard may work on a psychological level but (a) may not help to bring about the things you pray for (b) may be better explained by referring to its soothing effect than by claiming prayers are heard. As such, pragmatism is not antithetical to religion but it is not an apologetic for faith either. James' metaphysical position however, leaves open the possibility that the ontological claims of religions may be true. As he observed in the end of the Varieties, his position does not amount to a denial of the existence of transcendent realities. Quite the contrary, he argued for the legitimate epistemic right to believe in such realities, since such beliefs do make a difference in an individual's life and refer to claims that cannot be verified or falsified either on intellectual or common sensorial grounds.

Joseph Margolis , in _Historied Thought, Constructed World_ (California, 1995), makes a distinction between "existence" and "reality". He suggests using the term "exists" only for those things which adequately exhibit Peirce's _Secondness_: things which offer brute physical resistance to our movements. In this way, such things which affect us, like numbers, may be said to be "real", although they do not "exist". Margolis suggests that God, in such a linguistic usage, might very well be "real", causing believers to act in such and such a way, but might not "exist".


Neopragmatism is a broad contemporary category used for various thinkers that incorporate important insights of, and yet significantly diverge from, the classical pragmatists. This divergence may occur either in their philosophical methodology (many of them are loyal to the analytic tradition) or in conceptual formation ( C.I. Lewis was very critical of Dewey; Richard Rorty dislikes Peirce). Important analytical neopragmatists include the aforementioned Lewis, W. V. O. Quine , Donald Davidson , Hilary Putnam , and the early Richard Rorty . Brazilian social thinker Roberto Unger advocates for a "radical pragmatism", one that 'de-naturalizes' society and culture, and thus insists that we can "transform the character of our relation to social and cultural worlds we inhabit rather than just to change, little by little, the content of the arrangements and beliefs that comprise them". Stanley Fish , the later Rorty and Jürgen Habermas are closer to continental thought .

Neoclassical pragmatism denotes those thinkers who consider themselves inheritors of the project of the classical pragmatists. Sidney Hook and Susan Haack (known for the theory of foundherentism ) are well-known examples. Many pragmatist ideas (especially those of Peirce) find a natural expression in the decision-theoretic reconstruction of epistemology pursued in the work of Isaac Levi . Nicholas Rescher advocates his version of "methodical pragmatism" based on construing pragmatic efficacy not as a replacement for truths but as a means to its evidentiation.

Not all pragmatists are easily characterized. It is probable, considering the advent of postanalytic philosophy and the diversification of Anglo-American philosophy, that more philosophers will be influenced by pragmatist thought without necessarily publicly committing themselves to that philosophical school. Daniel Dennett , a student of Quine's, falls into this category, as does Stephen Toulmin , who arrived at his philosophical position via Wittgenstein , whom he calls "a pragmatist of a sophisticated kind" (foreword for Dewey 1929 in the 1988 edition, p. xiii). Another example is Mark Johnson whose embodied philosophy (Lakoff and Johnson 1999) shares its psychologism, direct realism and anti-cartesianism with pragmatism. Conceptual pragmatism is a theory of knowledge originating with the work of the philosopher and logician Clarence Irving Lewis . The epistemology of conceptual pragmatism was first formulated in the 1929 book _ Mind and the World Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge_.

'French Pragmatism' is attended with theorists such as Bruno Latour , Michel Crozier , Luc Boltanski , and Laurent Thévenot . It is often seen as opposed to structural problems connected to the French Critical Theory of Pierre Bourdieu .


In the twentieth century, the movements of logical positivism and ordinary language philosophy have similarities with pragmatism. Like pragmatism, logical positivism provides a verification criterion of meaning that is supposed to rid us of nonsense metaphysics, however, logical positivism doesn't stress action as pragmatism does. The pragmatists rarely used their maxim of meaning to rule out all metaphysics as nonsense. Usually, pragmatism was put forth to correct metaphysical doctrines or to construct empirically verifiable ones rather than to provide a wholesale rejection.

Ordinary language philosophy is closer to pragmatism than other philosophy of language because of its nominalist character and because it takes the broader functioning of language in an environment as its focus instead of investigating abstract relations between _language_ and _world_.

Pragmatism has ties to process philosophy . Much of their work developed in dialogue with process philosophers such as Henri Bergson and Alfred North Whitehead , who aren't usually considered pragmatists because they differ so much on other points. (Douglas Browning et al. 1998; Rescher, SEP)

Behaviorism and functionalism in psychology and sociology also have ties to pragmatism, which is not surprising considering that James and Dewey were both scholars of psychology and that Mead became a sociologist.

Utilitarianism has some significant parallels to Pragmatism and John Stuart Mill espoused similar values.

Pragmatism emphasizes the connection between thought and action. Applied fields like public administration , political science , leadership studies, international relations , conflict resolution, and research methodology have incorporated the tenets of pragmatism in their field. Often this connection is made using Dewey and Addams's expansive notion of democracy.


Symbolic interactionism , a major perspective within sociological social psychology, was derived from pragmatism in the early twentieth century, especially the work of George Herbert Mead and Charles Cooley , as well as that of Peirce and William James .

Increasing attention is being given to pragmatist epistemology in other branches of the social sciences, which have struggled with divisive debates over the status of social scientific knowledge.

Enthusiasts suggest that pragmatism offers an approach which is both pluralist and practical.


The classical pragmatism of John Dewey , William James , and Charles Sanders Peirce has influenced research in the field of Public Administration . Scholars claim classical pragmatism had a profound influence on the origin of the field of public administration. At the most basic level, public administrators are responsible for making programs "work" in a pluralistic, problems-oriented environment. Public administrators are also responsible for the day-to-day work with citizens. Dewey's participatory democracy can be applied in this environment. Dewey and James' notion of theory as a tool, helps administrators craft theories to resolve policy and administrative problems. Further, the birth of American public administration coincides closely with the period of greatest influence of the classical pragmatists.

Which pragmatism (classical pragmatism or neo-pragmatism) makes the most sense in public administration has been the source of debate. The debate began when Patricia M. Shields introduced Dewey's notion of the Community of Inquiry. Hugh Miller objected to one element of the community of inquiry (problematic situation, scientific attitude, participatory democracy ) – Scientific attitude. A debate that included responses from a practitioner, an economist, a planner, other public administration scholars, and noted philosophers followed. Miller and Shields also responded.

In addition, applied scholarship of public administration that assesses charter schools , contracting out or outsourcing , financial management, performance measurement , urban quality of life initiatives, and urban planning in part draws on the ideas of classical pragmatism in the development of the conceptual framework and focus of analysis.

The health sector's administrators' use of pragmatism has been criticized as incomplete in its pragmatism, however, according to the classical pragmatists, knowledge is always shaped by human interests. The administrator's focus on 'outcomes' simply advances their own interest, and this focus on outcomes often undermines their citizen's interests, which often are more concerned with process. On the other hand, David Brendel argues that pragmatism's ability to bridge dualisms, focus on practical problems, include multiple perspectives, incorporate participation from interested parties (patient, family, health team), and provisional nature makes it well suited to address problems in this area.


Since the mid 1990s, feminist philosophers have re-discovered classical pragmatism as a source of feminist theories. Works by Seigfried, Duran, Keith, and Whipps explore the historic and philosophic links between feminism and pragmatism. The connection between pragmatism and feminism took so long to be rediscovered because pragmatism itself was eclipsed by logical positivism during the middle decades of the twentieth century. As a result, it was lost from femininist discourse. The very features of pragmatism that led to its decline are the characteristics that feminists now consider its greatest strength. These are "persistent and early criticisms of positivist interpretations of scientific methodology; disclosure of value dimension of factual claims"; viewing aesthetics as informing everyday experience; subordinating logical analysis to political, cultural, and social issues; linking the dominant discourses with domination; "realigning theory with praxis; and resisting the turn to epistemology and instead emphasizing concrete experience". These feminist philosophers point to Jane Addams as a founder of classical pragmatism. In addition, the ideas of Dewey, Mead, and James are consistent with many feminist tenets. Jane Addams, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead developed their philosophies as all three became friends, influenced each other, and were engaged in the Hull-House experience and women’s rights causes.


Pragmatism values and evaluates the effects of a design on urban transformation , and the effects of a concept or design alters the overall understanding of the concept. Richard Rorty mentions that "a sea change" is occurring in recent philosophical thought – "a change so profound that we may not recognize that it is occurring". While the world that the movement is rooted in has had many changes, as a frame to perceive the world, pragmatism also has experienced different levels of modifications. Those changes are very relevant to the development of cities and basic themes, such as anti-foundationalism , fallibilism , community as inquirers , questioning the sharp distinction between theory and practice, pluralism , and democracy , of pragmatism may be applied to the urbanism even more strongly.

Vincent di Norcia argues that a pragmatic approach is suitable regarding social issues because it requires a conduct that resolves problems as it continuously assesses the practical effects of a project. This secures the interest for the stakeholders and Norcia stresses the importance of social and cognitive pluralism. Social pluralism means that we should recognize all stake holder's interest that are affected by a certain decision, without putting weight on elite political or economic group's interests. As a complement Norcia also stresses cognitive pluralism, which indicates that one should include all kinds of knowledge that are relevant to a problem.


In the 1908 essay "The Thirteen Pragmatisms", Arthur Oncken Lovejoy argues that there's significant ambiguity in the notion of the effects of the _truth_ of a proposition and those of _belief_ in a proposition in order to highlight that many pragmatists had failed to recognize that distinction. He identified thirteen different philosophical positions that were each labeled pragmatism.

Neopragmatism as represented by Richard Rorty has been criticized as relativistic both by neoclassical pragmatists such as Susan Haack (Haack 1997) and by many analytic philosophers (Dennett 1998). Rorty's early analytical work, however, differs notably from his later work which some, including Rorty, consider to be closer to literary criticism than to philosophy, and which, attracts the brunt of criticism from his detractors.

* see: Criticism texts, Further reading .




Peirce, Charles Sanders Charles Sanders Peirce 1839–1914 was the founder of American pragmatism (later called by Peirce pragmaticism ). He wrote on a wide range of topics, from mathematical logic and semiotics to psychology.

James, William William James 1842–1910 influential psychologist and theorist of religion , as well as philosopher. First to be widely associated with the term "pragmatism" due to Peirce's lifelong unpopularity.

Dewey, John John Dewey 1859–1952 prominent philosopher of education , referred to his brand of pragmatism as instrumentalism .

Schiller, F.C.S. F.C.S. Schiller 1864–1937 one of the most important pragmatists of his time, Schiller is largely forgotten today.



Mead, George Herbert George Herbert Mead 1863–1931 philosopher and sociological social psychologist .

Emerson, Ralph Waldo Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803–1882 the American protopragmatist, Transcendentalist , and noted Rhetorician .

Royce, Josiah Josiah Royce 1855–1916 colleague of James at Harvard who employed pragmatism in an idealist metaphysical framework, he was particularly interested in the philosophy of religion and community; his work is often associated with neo- Hegelianism .

Santayana, George George Santayana 1863–1952 although he eschewed the label "pragmatism" and called it a "heresy", several critics argue that he applied pragmatist methodologies to naturalism , especially in his early masterwork, _The Life of Reason _.

Du Bois, W. E. B. W. E. B. Du Bois 1868–1963 student of James at Harvard who applied pragmatist principles to his sociological work, especially in _ The Philadelphia Negro _ and _Atlanta University Studies_.



Papini, Giovanni Giovanni Papini 1881–1956 Italian essayist, mostly known because James occasionally mentioned him.

Vailati, Giovanni Giovanni Vailati 1863–1909 Italian analytic and pragmatist philosopher.

Shih, Hu Hu Shih 1891–1962 Chinese intellectual and reformer, student and translator of Dewey's and advocate of pragmatism in China.

Niebuhr, Reinhold Reinhold Niebuhr 1892–1971 American Philosopher and Theologian, inserted Pragmatism into his theory of Christian Realism.


Neoclassical pragmatists stay closer to the project of the classical pragmatists than neopragmatists do.


Hook, Sidney Sidney Hook 1902–1989 a prominent New York intellectual and philosopher, a student of Dewey at Columbia.

Levi, Isaac Isaac Levi 1930–

seeks to apply pragmatist thinking in a decision-theoretic perspective.

Haack, Susan Susan Haack 1945–

teaches at the University of Miami, sometimes called the intellectual granddaughter of C.S. Peirce, known chiefly for foundherentism .

Rescher, Nicholas Nicholas Rescher 1928– advocates a methodological pragmatism that sees functional efficacy as evidentiating validity.


(Often labelled neopragmatism as well.)


Bernstein, Richard J. Richard J. Bernstein 1932– Author of _Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxis_, _The New Constellation: The Ethical-Political Horizons of Modernity/Postmodernity_, _The Pragmatic Turn_

Breyer, Stephen Stephen Breyer 1938– U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice.

Burke, F. ThomasF. Thomas Burke 1950– Author of _What Pragmatism Was_ (2013), _Dewey's New Logic_ (1994). His work interprets contemporary philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and philosophical logic through the lens of classical American pragmatism.

Fine, Arthur Arthur Fine 1937– Philosopher of Science who proposed the Natural Ontological Attitude to the debate of scientific realism .

Fish, Stanley Stanley Fish 1938– Literary and Legal Studies pragmatist. Criticizes Rorty's and Posner's legal theories as "almost pragmatism" and authored the afterword in the collection _The Revival of Pragmatism_.

Hawthorne, John John Hawthorne

Defends a pragmatist form of contextualism to deal with the lottery paradox in his _Knowledge and Lotteries_.

Lewis, Clarence Irving Clarence Irving Lewis 1883–1964 a leading authority on symbolic logic and on the philosophic concepts of knowledge and value.

Margolis, Joseph Joseph Margolis 1924– still proudly defends the original Pragmatists and sees his recent work on Cultural Realism as extending and deepening their insights, especially the contribution of Peirce and Dewey, in the context of a rapprochement with Continental philosophy.

Putnam, Hilary Hilary Putnam 1926-2016 in many ways the opposite of Rorty and thinks classical pragmatism was too permissive a theory.

Rorty, Richard Richard Rorty 1931–2007 famous author of _ Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature _.

Stuhr, John J. John J. Stuhr

Quine, Willard van Orman Willard van Orman Quine 1908–2000 pragmatist philosopher, concerned with language , logic , and philosophy of mathematics .

Sandbothe, Mike Mike Sandbothe 1961– Applied Rorty's neopragmatism to media studies and developed a new branch that he called Media Philosophy. Together with authors such as Juergen Habermas, Hans Joas, Sami Pihlstroem, Mats Bergmann, Michael Esfeld, and Helmut Pape, he belongs to a group of European Pragmatists who make use of Peirce, James, Dewey, Rorty, Brandom, Putnam, and other representatives of American pragmatism in continental philosophy.

Shusterman, Richard Richard Shusterman

philosopher of art.

Stanley, Jason Jason Stanley 1969– Defends a pragmatist form of contextualism against semantic varieties of contextualism in his _Knowledge and Practical Interest_.

Talisse, Robert B. Robert B. Talisse 1970– defends an epistemological conception of democratic politics that is explicitly opposed to Deweyan democracy and yet rooted in a conception of social epistemology that derives from the pragmatism of Charles Peirce . His work in argumentation theory and informal logic also demonstrates pragmatist leanings.

Toulmin, Stephen Stephen Toulmin 1922–2009 student of Wittgenstein, known especially for his _The Uses of Argument_.

Unger, Roberto Roberto Unger 1947– in _The Self Awakened: Pragmatism Unbound_, advocates for a "radical pragmatism", one that 'de-naturalizes' society and culture, and thus insists that we can "transform the character of our relation to social and cultural worlds we inhabit rather than just to change, little by little, the content of the arrangements and beliefs that comprise them."

Holmes, Jr., Oliver Wendell Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 1841–1935 Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States .

Pragmatists In The Extended Sense


West, Cornel Cornel West 1953– thinker on race, politics, and religion; operates under the sign of "prophetic pragmatism".

Sellars, Wilfrid Wilfrid Sellars 1912–1989 broad thinker, attacked foundationalism in the analytic tradition.

Ramsey, Frank P. Frank P. Ramsey 1903–1930 author of the philosophical work Universals .

Apel, Karl-Otto Karl-Otto Apel 1922– author of "Charles S. Peirce: From Pragmatism to Pragmaticism (1981)"

Bourne, Randolph Randolph Bourne 1886–1918 author of the 1917 pragmatist anti-war essay "Twilight of Idols"

Mills, C. Wright C. Wright Mills 1916–1962; author of _Sociology and Pragmatism: the Higher Learning in America_ and was a commentator on Dewey.

Habermas, Jürgen Jürgen Habermas 1929– author of "What is Universal Pragmatics ?"


* American philosophy * Charles Sanders Peirce bibliography * Pragmatic theory of truth * Pragmatism as an eighth tradition of Communication theory * Scientific method#Pragmatic model * New legal realism


* ^ _Pragmatism_. 13 September 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Peirce, C. S. (1878), "How to Make Our Ideas Clear", _Popular Science Monthly_, v. 12, 286–302. Reprinted often, including _Collected Papers_ v. 5, paragraphs 388–410 and _Essential Peirce_ v. 1, 124–41. See end of §II for the pragmatic maxim. See third and fourth paragraphs in §IV for the discoverability of truth and the real by sufficient investigation. * ^ William James (1909). _The Meaning of Truth_. Retrieved 5 March 2015. * ^ _A_ _B_ Gutek, Gerald (2014). _Philosophical, Ideological, and Theoretical Perspectives On Education_. New Jersey: Pearson. pp. 76,100. ISBN 978-0-13-285238-8 . * ^ Susan Haack ; Robert Edwin Lane (11 April 2006). _Pragmatism, old & new: selected writings_. Prometheus Books. pp. 18–67. ISBN 978-1-59102-359-3 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Biesta, G.J.J. and the principle of practicalism or pragmatism, as he called it, when I first heard him enunciate it at Cambridge in the early is the clue or compass by following which I find myself more and more confirmed in believing we may keep our feet upon the proper trail.

James credited Peirce again in 1906 lectures published in 1907 as _Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking_, see Lecture 2, fourth paragraph. * ^ See James (1897), _Will to Believe_ (which James dedicated to Peirce), see p. 124 and footnote via _Google Books_ Eprint:

Indeed, it may be said that if two apparently different definitions of the reality before us should have identical consequences, those two definitions would really be identical definitions, made delusively to appear different merely by the different verbiage in which they are expressed.¹ ¹ See the admirably original "Illustrations of the Logic of Science," by C. S. Peirce, especially the second paper, "How to make our Thoughts clear," in the Popular Science Monthly for January, 1878. See also James's 1907 _Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking_, Lecture 2, fourth paragraph. * ^ In addition to James's lectures and publications on pragmatist ideas (_Will to Believe_ 1897, etc.) wherein he credited Peirce, James also arranged for two paid series of lectures by Peirce, including the 1903 Harvard lectures on pragmatism. See pp. 261–4, 290–2, & 324 in Brent, Joseph (1998), _Charles Sanders Peirce: A Life_, 2nd edition. * ^ Peirce, C. S., "The Founding of Pragmatism", manuscript written 1906, published in _The Hound & Horn: A Harvard Miscellany_ v. II, n. 3, April–June 1929, pp. 282–5, see 283–4, reprinted 1934 as "Historical Affinities and Genesis" in _Collected Papers _ v. 5, paragraphs 11–13, see 12. * ^ Shook, John (undated), "The Metaphysical Club", the _Pragmatism Cybrary_. Eprint. * ^ Peirce, C. S. (1877), The Fixation of Belief, _Popular Science Monthly_, v. 12, pp. 1–15. Reprited often, including _Collected Papers_ v. 5, paragraphs 358–87 and _Essential Peirce_ v. 1, pp. 109–23). * ^ Peirce, on p p. 165–166 in "What Pragmatism Is", _The Monist_, v. XV, n. 2, April 1905, pp. 161–81, reprinted in _Collected Papers_ v. 5, paragraphs 411–37, see 414.

* ^ Manuscript "A Sketch of Logical Critics", _Essential Peirce_ v. 2, pp. 451–62, see pp. 457–8. Peirce wrote:

I have always fathered my pragmati_ci_sm (as I have called it since James and Schiller made the word imply "the will to believe," the mutability of truth, the soundness of Zeno's refutation of motion, and pluralism generally), upon Kant, Berkeley, and Leibniz.... * ^ _A_ _B_ Peirce, C. S. (1908) "A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God", _Hibbert Journal_ 7, reprinted in _Collected Papers_ v. 6, paragraphs 452–85, _Essential Peirce_ v. 2, 434–50, and elsewhere. After discussing James, Peirce stated (Section V, fourth paragraph) as the specific occasion of his coinage "pragmaticism", journalist, pragmatist, and literary author Giovanni Papini 's declaration of pragmatism's indefinability (see for example "What Is Pragmatism Like", a translation published in October 1907 in _Popular Science Monthly_ v. 71, pp. 351–8, _Google Books_ Eprint). Peirce in his closing paragraph wrote that "willing not to exert the will (willing to believe)" should not be confused with "active willing (willing to control thought, to doubt, and to weigh reasons)", and discussed his dismay by that which he called the other pragmatists' "angry hatred of strict logic". He also rejected their nominalist tendencies. But he remained allied with them about the falsity of necessitarianism and about the reality of generals and habits understood in terms of potential concrete effects even if unactualized. * ^ Peirce, C. S. (1868) "Questions Concerning Certain Faculties Claimed For Man", _Journal of Speculative Philosophy_ v. 2, n. 2, pp. 103–114. Reprinted _Collected Peirce_ v. 5, paragraphs 213–263, _Writings_ v. 2, pp. 193–211, _Essential Peirce_ v. 2, pp. 11–27, and elsewhere. _Peirce.org_ Eprint. _Google Books_ Eprint. * ^ Kasser, Jeff (1998), "Peirce's Supposed Psychologism" in _Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society_, v. 35, n. 3, summer 1999, pp. 501–527. _Arisbe_ Eprint. * ^ Peirce held that (philosophical) logic is a normative field, that pragmatism is a method developed in it, and that philosophy, though not deductive or so general as mathematics, still concerns positive phenomena in general, including phenomena of matter and mind, without depending on special experiences or experiments such as those of optics and experimental psychology , in both of which Peirce was active. See quotes under "Philosophy" at the _Commens Dictionary of Peirce's Terms_. Peirce also harshly criticized the Cartesian approach of starting from hyperbolic doubts rather than from the combination of established beliefs and genuine doubts. See the opening of his 1868 "Some Consequences of Four Incapacities", _Journal of Speculative Philosophy_ v. 2, n. 3, pp. 140–157. Reprinted _Collected Papers_ v. 5, paragraphs 264–317, _Writings_ v. 2, pp. 211–42, and _Essential Peirce_ v. 1, pp. 28–55. Eprint. * ^ Peirce (1902), The Carnegie Institute Application, Memoir 10, MS L75.361-2, _Arisbe_ Eprint. * ^ Peirce, C. S. (1868), "Some Consequences of Four Incapacities", _Journal of Speculative Philosophy_ v. 2, n. 3, p p. 140–57, see opening pages. Reprinted _Collected Papers_ v. 5, paragraphs 264–317, _Writings_ v. 2, pp. 211–42, _Essential Peirce_ v. 1, pp. 28–55. Peirce.org Eprint. * ^ Unger, Roberto (2007). _The Self Awakened: Pragmatism Unbound_. Harvard University Press. pp. 6–7. ISBN 978-0-674-03496-9 . * ^ Patricia M. Shields . 2008. "Rediscovering the Taproot: Is Classical Pragmatism the Route to Renew Public Administration?" _ Public Administration Review_ 68(2), 205–221 * ^ Ansell, Christopher. 2011. _Pragmatist Democracy: Evolutionary Learning as Public Philosophy_. New York: Oxford University Press * ^ Weber, Eric Thomas. 2013. _ Democracy and Leadership: On Pragmatism and Virtue_. New York: Lexington Books. * ^ Ralston, Shane (Ed). 2013. _Philosophical Pragmatism and International Relations: Essays for a Bold New World_. New York: Lexington. * ^ Caspary, William. 2000. _Dewey on Democracy_. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. * ^ Shields, Patricia and Rangarjan, N. 2013. _A Playbook for Research Methods: Integrating Conceptual Frameworks and Project Management_. . Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press. Shields relies primarily on Dewey's logic of Inquiry. * ^ Stryker, S. (1980). _Symbolic Interactionism: A Social Structural Version._. Benjamin/Cummings Publishing. * ^ Baert, P. (2004). " Pragmatism as a philosophy of the social sciences." _European Journal of Social Theory_, 7(3), 355–369. * ^ Cornish, F. & Gillespie, A. (2009). A pragmatist approach to the problem of knowledge in health psychology _Journal of Health Psychology_, 14(6), 1–10. * ^ Patricia M. Shields . 2008. Rediscovering the Taproot: Is Classical Pragmatism the Route to Renew Public Administration? _Public Administration Review_ 68(2), 205–221 * ^ Hildebrand, David L. 2008. Public Administration as Pragmatic, Democratic and Objective. _ Public Administration Review_. 68(2), 222–229 * ^ Shields, Patricia 2003. The community of Inquiry: Classical Pragmatism and Public Administration." Administration & Society 35(5): 510–538. abstract * ^ Miller, Hugh. 2004. "Why Old Pragmatism Needs an Upgrade. Administration & Society 36(2), 234–249. * ^ Stolcis, Gregory 2004. "A view from the Trenches: Comment on Miller's 'Why Old Pragmatism needs and upgrade" _Administration & Society_ 36(3):326–369 * ^ Webb, James "Comment on Hugh T. Miller's 'Why old Pragmatism needs and upgrade'. _Administration & Society_ 36(4), 479–495. * ^ Hoch C. 2006. "What Can Rorty teach an old pragmatist doing public administration or planning? Administration & Society. 38(3):389–398. abstract * ^ Evans, Karen. 2005. "Upgrade or a different animal altogether?: Why Old Pragmatism Better Informs Public Management and New Pragmatism Misses the Point." _Administration & Society_ 37(2), 248–255. * ^ Snider, Keith. 2005. Rortyan PRagmatism: 'Where's the beef' for public administration." _Administration & Society_ 37(2), 243–247. * ^ Hildebrand, David. 2005. "Pragmatism, Neopragmatism and public administration." Administration & Society 37(3): 360–374. abstract * ^ Hickman, Larry 2004. "On Hugh T. Miller on 'Why old pragmatism needs an upgrade." _ Administration & Society _ 36(4):496–499. * ^ Miller, Hugh 2005. "Residues of foundationalism in Classical Pragmatism." _Administration & Society_. 37(3):345–359. * ^ Patricia M. Shields . 2004. "Classical Pragmatism: Engaging practitioner experience." _Administration & Society_, 36(3):351–361 * ^ Patricia M. Shields . 2005. "Classical Pragmatism does not need an upgrade: Lessons for Public Administration." _Administration & Society_. 37(4):504–518. abstract * ^ Perez, Shivaun, "Assessing Service Learning Using Pragmatic Principles of Education: A Texas Charter School Case Study" (2000). Applied Research Projects. Texas State University Paper 76. http://ecommons.txstate.edu/arp/76 * ^ Alexander, Jason Fields, "Contracting Through the Lens of Classical Pragmatism: An Exploration of Local Government Contracting" (2009). Applied Research Projects. Texas State University. Paper 288. http://ecommons.txstate.edu/arp/288 * ^ Bartle, John R. and Shields, Patricia M., "Applying Pragmatism to Public Budgeting and Financial Management" (2008). Faculty Publications-Political Science. Paper 48. http://ecommons.txstate.edu/polsfacp/48 * ^ Wilson, Timothy L., " Pragmatism and Performance Measurement: An Exploration of Practices in Texas State Government" (2001). Applied Research Projects. Texas State University. Paper 71. http://ecommons.txstate.edu/arp/71 * ^ Howard-Watkins, Demetria C., "The Austin, Texas African-American Quality of Life Initiative as a Community of inquiry : An Exploratory Study" (2006). Applied Research Projects. Texas State University. Paper 115. http://ecommons.txstate.edu/arp/115 * ^ Johnson, Timothy Lee, "The Downtown Austin Planning Process as a Community of inquiry : An Exploratory Study" (2008). Applied Research Projects. Paper 276. http://ecommons.txstate.edu/arp/276. * ^ Patricia M. Shields and Hassan Tajalli (2006), "Intermediate Theory: The Missing Link in Successful Student Scholarship," _Journal of Public Affairs Education_ 12(3):313–334. https://digital.library.txstate.edu/handle/10877/3967 * ^ Patricia M. Shields (1998). " Pragmatism as a Philosophy of Science: A Tool for Public Administration," _Research in Public Administration._ Volume 4: 195–225. (Online.) * ^ Patricia M. Shields and Nandhini Rangarajan (2013). _A Playbook for Research Methods: Integrating Conceptual Frameworks and Project Management_. Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press. * ^ Gillespie, A. Seigfried, C.H. (1996). Pragmatism and feminism: Reweaving the social fabric. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press; Seigfried, C. H. (1992). Where are all the pragmatists feminists? Hypatia, 6, 8–21. * ^ Duran, J. (2001). A holistically Deweyan feminism. Metaphilosophy, 32, 279–292. Duran, J. (1993). The intersection of pragmatism and feminism. Hypatia, 8 * ^ Keith, H. (1999). Feminism and pragmatism: George Herbert Mead’s ethics of care. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, 35, 328–344. * ^ Whipps, J. D. (2004). Jane Addams social thought as a model for a pragmatist-feminist communitarianism. Hypatia, 19, 118–113. * ^ Seigfried, C.H. (1996). _ Pragmatism and Feminism: Reweaving the Social Fabric_. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. p. 21 * ^ Peirce, Charles Sanders. 1958. "How to make our ideas clear", ed. Paul Weiss Charles Harthstorne. Vol. 7–8. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. * ^ Norcia, Vincent di. 2002. "Pluralism, pragmatism and social problems." _Journal of Canadian Studies_ 37 (3): 239. * ^ "The Thirteen Pragmatisms, The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology, and Scientific Methods, now _The Journal of Philosophy _, Part I, 2 January 1908, pp. 5–12. Part II, 16 January 1908, pp. 29–39 * ^ in: Stanley Fish, There's No Such Thing as Free Speech, Oxford University Press, 1994. * ^ Ed. Morris Dickstein, Duke University Press, 1998


* Baldwin, James Mark (ed., 1901–1905), _Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology _, 3 volumes in 4, Macmillan, New York, NY. * Dewey, John (1900–1901), _Lectures on Ethics 1900–1901_, Donald F. Koch (ed.), Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale and Edwardsville, IL, 1991. * Dewey, John (1910), _ How We Think _, D.C. Heath , Lexington, MA, 1910. Reprinted, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY, 1991. * Dewey, John (1929), _The Quest for Certainty: A Study of the Relation of Knowledge and Action_, Minton, Balch, and Company, New York, NY. Reprinted, pp. 1–254 in _John Dewey, The Later Works, 1925–1953, Volume 4: 1929_, Jo Ann Boydston (ed.), Harriet Furst Simon (text. ed.), Stephen Toulmin (intro.), Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale and Edwardsville, IL, 1984. * Dewey, John (1932), _Theory of the Moral Life_, Part 2 of John Dewey and James H. Tufts , _Ethics_, Henry Holt and Company, New York, NY, 1908. 2nd edition, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1932. Reprinted, Arnold Isenberg (ed.), Victor Kestenbaum (pref.), Irvington Publishers, New York, NY, 1980. * Dewey, John (1938), _Logic: The Theory of Inquiry_, Henry Holt and Company, New York, NY, 1938. Reprinted, pp. 1–527 in _John Dewey, The Later Works, 1925–1953, Volume 12: 1938_, Jo Ann Boydston (ed.), Kathleen Poulos (text. ed.), Ernest Nagel (intro.), Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale and Edwardsville, IL, 1986. * James, William (1902), "Pragmatic and Pragmatism", 1 paragraph, vol. 2, pp. 321–322 in J.M. Baldwin (ed., 1901–1905), _Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology_, 3 volumes in 4, Macmillan, New York, NY. Reprinted, CP 5.2 in C.S. Peirce, _Collected Papers_. * James, William (1907), _Pragmatism, A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking, Popular Lectures on Philosophy_, Longmans, Green, and Company, New York, NY. * James, William (1909), _The Meaning of Truth, A Sequel to \'Pragmatism_, Longmans, Green, and Company, New York, NY. * Lundin, Roger (2006) _From Nature to Experience: The American Search for Cultural Authority_ Rowman or by incorporating the relevant publications into the body of the article through appropriate citations . (December 2015)_ _(Learn how and when to remove this template message )_


* John J. Stuhr, ed. _One Hundred Years of Pragmatism: William James's Revolutionary Philosophy_ (Indiana University Press; 2010) 215 pages; Essays on pragmatism and American culture, pragmatism as a way of thinking and settling disputes, pragmatism as a theory of truth, and pragmatism as a mood, attitude, or temperament.

IMPORTANT INTRODUCTORY PRIMARY TEXTS Note that this is an _introductory_ list: some important works are left out and some less monumental works that are excellent introductions are included.

* C. S. Peirce, "The Fixation of Belief" (paper) * C. S. Peirce, "How to Make Our Ideas Clear" (paper) * C. S. Peirce, "A Definition of Pragmatism" (paper as titled by Menand in _Pragmatism: A Reader_, from _Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce_ v. 8, some or all of paragraphs 191–195.) * William James, _Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking_ (especially lectures I, II and VI) * John Dewey, _Reconstruction in Philosophy_ * John Dewey, "Three Independent factors in Morals" (lecture published as paper) * John Dewey, "A short catechism concerning truth" (chapter) * W. V. O. Quine, "Three Dogmas of Empiricism" (paper)

Secondary texts

* Cornelis De Waal, _On Pragmatism_ * Louis Menand, _The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America _ * Hilary Putnam, _Pragmatism: An Open Question_ * Abraham Edel, _Pragmatic Tests and Ethical Insights_ * D. S. Clarke, _Rational Acceptance and Purpose_ * Haack, Susan & Lane, Robert, Eds. (2006). _ Pragmatism Old and New: Selected Writings_. New York: Prometheus Books. * Louis Menand, ed., _Pragmatism: A Reader_ (includes essays by Peirce, James, Dewey, Rorty, others) * For a discussion of the ways in which Pragmatism offers insights into the theory and practice of urbanism, see: Aseem Inam, _Designing Urban Transformation_ New York and London: Routledge, 2013. ISBN 978-0415837705 .

Criticism texts

* Edward W. Younkins, _Dewey\'s Pragmatism and the Decline of Education_. * _Pragmatism_, Ayn Rand Lexicon. * Albert Schinz , _Anti-Pragmatism: An Examination into the Respective Rights of Intellectual Aristocracy and Social Democracy_. Boston: Small, Maynard and Company, 1909.


* _IEP_ – Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy * _SEP_ – Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy * James Sloan Allen. _ William James on Habit, Will, Truth, and the Meaning of Life._ 2014. * Elizabeth Anderson. _Dewey\'s Moral Philosophy_. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. * Douglas Browning, William T. Myers (Eds.) _Philosophers of Process._ 1998. * Robert Burch. _Charles Sanders Peirce_. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. * F. Thomas Burke. _What Pragmatism Was_. 2013. * John Dewey. Donald F. Koch (ed.) _Lectures on Ethics 1900–1901._ 1991. * Daniel Dennett. Postmodernism and Truth. 1998. * John Dewey. _The Quest for Certainty: A Study of the Relation of Knowledge and Action._ 1929. * John Dewey. _Three Independent Factors in Morals._ 1930. * John Dewey. _The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy and Other Essays_. 1910. * John Dewey. _Experience & Education._ 1938. * Cornelis De Waal. _On Pragmatism._ 2005. * Abraham Edel. Pragmatic Tests and Ethical Insights. In: Ethics at the Crossroads: Normative Ethics and Objective Reason. George F. McLean, Richard Wollak (eds.) 1993. * Michael Eldridge. _Transforming Experience: John Dewey's Cultural Instrumentalism._ 1998. * Lorenzo Fabbri. _The domestication of Derrida: Rorty, pragmatism and deconstruction_. 2008 * Richard Field. _ John Dewey (1859-1952)_. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. * Peter H. Hare, Michel Weber, James K. Swindler, Oana-Maria