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Questions tagged [pragmatism]

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Can you identify a philosophical argument involving Lifeboats? (Not 'Lifeboat Ethics')

long time since I studied philosophy. I'm trying to remember an argument / thought experiment that went something like, "lifeboats are placed throughout a ship and not just by the wealthy passenger ...
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1answer
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What is 'Pragmatic Encroachment'?

Question What is 'Pragmatic Encroachment'? Overview I tried to read https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-analysis/#PragEncr but it was too dense + wordy (too many unnecessary complex ...
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Social Response to Legal/Moral Duty Violation

When a person, especially a public figure, has committed a serious legal or moral violation, there is a tendency for friends/clients/companies/etc. to dissociate from that individual, even if the ...
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How do pragmatists avoid this modal argument against their view of truth?

I am reading Harry Gensler's Introduction to Logic (Routledge, 2002) and doing exercise 1 of 7.3b in the "Basic Modal Logic" chapter. I think I follow the steps. The answer is in the book. My ...
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Meaning in use and naturalisation of intentionality

What is the relation between pragmatism and intentionality? Two different enterprises in philosophy seem to be well established and yet contradicting: Inferential Pragmatism: from Wittgenstein and ...
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Is there any normative theory within pragmatic ethics?

I've read wikipedia's article on pragmatic ethics and it does not produce any norms. Rather, it is only a template for normative ethical theories, like how deontology is a template and CI is a real ...
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710 views

Is philosophy a waste of time? [duplicate]

Philosophy has not advanced very far since Ancient Greece and Rome and every philosophical point of view, when extended, becomes absurd. Meanwhile, in little more than 3 centuries, and mostly in the ...
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1answer
173 views

Why would philosophical agnosticism and pragmatic atheism be considered more rational than philosophical agnosticism and pragmatic theism?

I'm referring to the accepted answer on this post. The answerer states that If one is both attentive to empirical scientific studies and to philosophical investigations of the limits of knowledge, ...
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Has pragmatism really been motivated to move away from necessity? Has it succeeded?

According to pragmatists, in ages of yesteryear the philosophical project aimed at determining the ultimate foundation of knowledge. Interspersed throughout history have been reactions to this ...
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315 views

William James' definition of truth and rightheousness

In "The Meaning of Truth", William James advances the following: "The true is only the expedient in the way of our thinking, just as the right is only the expedient in the way of our behaving" What ...
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132 views

Is there a conflict between upholding rational justification and seeing societal norms as its ultimate source?

Societal norms in many philosophical schools has come to be seen as the end-all determinant of rational life. This attitude is displayed by Richard Rorty when he says "truth is simply a compliment ...
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Would a pragmatist allow that meaning is representational of things in its use?

Pragmatism contends that use should be stressed when talking about the meaning of words before 'representation'. But what if we were to look at signification/representation as a sort of activity? If ...
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Why does Brandom drink the Chomsky kool-aid?

From the "Inferential Man" interview at http://www.pitt.edu/~rbrandom/publist.html "Norms are binding only insofar as one has endorsed them and adopted them. For example, to take the coin in my ...
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How is the conflict between created by reason and external aspects of knowledge resolved?

Pragmatism is, roughly, the stressing of actions in talking about the content of knowledge. Externalism is, roughly, the stressing of dependence on the external public world in talking about ...
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Does Brandom remain faithful to a Kantian autonomous intellect when he invokes Hegel?

There is a paradox about self-legislating norms that if the norms are self-legislated, they are not binding. In order to avoid this paradox, Brandom turns to Hegel's point that "normative statuses ...
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Is Brandom's account of history satisfactory to justify itself against doubts?

Brandom's idealism is multi-faceted and complicated. A rough summary of it might be as follows: Rationality is a conceptual normality, a typical way we do things. Specifically, it is a practical ...
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Are anti-realists faced with a point where they have to take for granted the referential function of words to things that are not words?

Pragmatism is strongly associated with anti-realism, the view that words are meaningful not because they represent a reality independent of the word itself but because of how they are used in a given ...
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270 views

How do pragmatists explain how words attach to things in reality?

If I'm feeling particularly despotic I can tell my daughter to go pick me up an apple in the dining room. A couple of seconds later and I am greeted with the thunk of an apple dropping on my lap. ...
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Is Peirce's pragmatic maxim self-evident?

Peirce's pragmatic maxim seems to have an appeal, at least as a "tiebreaker": Consider what effects, that might conceivably have practical bearings, we conceive the object of our conception to have....
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How is self-reference understood in the pragmatist tradition?

Gödel and Tarski's works have been especially influential in the pragmatist tradition, but what exactly did their theorems usher in? What is left of self-reference in the pragmatist tradition? More ...
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What is the relation between 'knowledge-that' and 'knowledge-how'?

Quick bit of definitions for the words: Knowledge-that is knowledge that answers a question about a thing. It is informative of a thing's nature or kind. Knowledge-how is knowledge that is expressed ...
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What is the nature of pragmatism as a claim? Can pragmatism ever be understood as a claim in light of its own conditions?

Pragmatism is the suggestion that truth-value and meaning should be talked about in terms of the way we use those terms. All such talk should be hashed out in terms of the practical bearings of such ...
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Do Wittgenstein and Quine give the same criticisms of semantics?

What is the connection between the criticisms offered by Wittgenstein and Quine of meaning and language? Are both philosophers generally criticizing the same semantic theories with similar arguments, ...
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What makes a relation 'satisfactory' under William James's pragmatist account of truth?

William James wrote that "Ideas ... become true just in so far as they help us to get into satisfactory relations with other parts of experience" (James 1907). What makes any given relation more '...
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Why would Dewey opine that reading Shakespeare is not an instance of true learning?

8. Which of the following is most likely to be an instance of true learning, in Dewey's view? a. You finally untangled the knot in your shoelaces b. You memorized the multiplication table ...
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For Dewey, why is a beaver dam NOT a tool?

Source: p 216, Philosophy: A Complete Introduction (2012) by Prof. Sharon Kaye MA PhD (in Philosophy, U. Toronto) 3 Which of the following is not a tool, according to Dewey? a. Universities   b. ...
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Should modern empiricists embrace string theory?

Conventional wisdom says "no", lack of new predictions being the main criticism. Johansson and Matsubara review string theory from various empiricist perspectives, and the best they can say (for ...
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What are some real-life applications of metaphysics?

Metaphysics seems to be a field that is almost purely abstract. However, I am also interested in knowing how metaphysics has impacted the real world, if at all.
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Are there any ethical/moral frameworks governing sexual behaviours? If so, what do they say?

Although the sexual domain is clearly an arena of reciprocity, altruism, selfishness, emotional blackmail, dominance-submission, guilt-inducement, etc. etc. posing ethical and moral questions of ...
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138 views

What is an excellent, balanced book or review on contemporary philosophy (of science and in general)?

Can you recommend a book, review paper or other overview source on contemporary philosophy, esp. philosophy in relation to science (broadly understood, not only natural sciences), epistemology and ...
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Is evidence for the “big bang” superior to evidence for “god”?

The question needs little elaboration. Perhaps the big bang could be called an "event in spacetime," yet it is also prior to spacetime. God too is described as "causa sui," with no "before." Neither ...
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Practicing Philosophy, and Relations Among Man [closed]

Assuming relations the purpose of man, is it possible for one to practice philosophy in speech only, and not in deed? In other words, can one simply read and write alone in a room and be properly ...
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What are the obscure elements in Deweys Pragmatism?

Roberto Unger, in an essay called Science and Politics between a domesticated and radicalised Pragmatism says: The philosophical heroes of Domesticated Pragmatism are Wittgenstein and Dewey, ...
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What is Brandom's notion of implicitness?

Robert Brandom seems to have a very distinct notion of implicitness when he says things like: For while that vocabulary is not itself descriptive vocabulary, its use is implicit in the use of ...
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convince me reality exists [duplicate]

Most contemporary uses of the word reality are empirical assertions. What argument can be given that we are discovering Plato's true forms, or that there are any true forms to be found. Is there a ...
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211 views

Which limit for relativism?

I've taken this sentence by Wikipedia but I see it in a weird way. "Culture sophistic through criticism of the notion of truth arrives at a more radical form of relativism. Not only there is no ...
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160 views

Could philosophy still work as well or better as multiple isolated, clearly delineated deduction systems?

I presume that philosophy could not work as well or better as such, or it would be going on already. But why couldn't it? I'm sure there are good reasons I can't think of. But those not in the ...
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Is there still a place in modern philosophy for qualitative or non-mathematical philosophy?

Modern philosophy seems to have an inclination to mathematics and other scientific disciplines. Even moral philosophy is being "mathematized". Some peer-reviewed articles on the mere addition paradox, ...
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726 views

How do empiricism, pragmatism and nominalism fit into one another?

How do the previously mentioned schools or methods fit into one another? Is nominalism a type of pragmatism? Is pragmatism always a form of empiricism etc.
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1answer
130 views

Quine's Naturalized Epistemology

Quine argues for a naturalized epistemology over traditional kinds. The implications of this move lead to pure descriptions that relinquishes all normativity. Is Quine's method of science as a "...
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Responses to the bricklayer critique of Dewey's definition of Inquiry

Apparently, Russell and Dewey had a very provocative debate in the philosophical literature of their time. Unfortunately I am only familiar with Russell's side of the debate, and want to learn more ...
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What exactly is Peirce trying to argue here?

This paragraph from SEP under the sub-heading Peirce on Reality and Truth: We can then think of the real only as the cause of the (singular) sensations which, in turn, provide our sole ...
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If religious experiences are reducible to neurological events, can a pragmatist argue against their value?

This question is able to be stated fairly succinctly, and assumes that answerers will have a sufficient degree of familiarity with pragmatism and the notion of religious experience. My motivation in ...
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What is value of a philosphical argument/theory when a conclusion can never be reached?

I have seen several questions and discussions recently on this forum concerning p-zombies, whether or not what we call consciousness is a tangible entity or merely an illusion or elaborate scheme ...
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What are the key differences between pragmatism and conventionalism?

What are the key differences between (classical) pragmatism and conventionalism? I'm reasonably familiar with the first, and have just become aware of the second via a reference to Henri Poincaré's La ...
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1answer
216 views

Does pragmatism view death as optional?

In a paper Pragmatism and Umwelt-theory the author begins by contrasting pragmatism with scientific realism. He writes something very intriguing at a certain point. That from pragmatic perspective "...
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Why do we need a reason for believing that inductive method is necessarily true?

I've been a bit perplexed about the "problem" of induction. Hume challenges other philosophers to come up with a deductive reason for the inductive connection. If the justification of induction ...
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What are the consequences of pragmatism for empirical research?

Positivism tells us that only what is verifiable exists. Therefore scientists should study only what they can observe and measure, through which they can explain natural or social phenomena. ...
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What are the main differences between Peirce, James, & Dewey?

Peirce, James, & Dewey are generally regarded as the three originators of American pragmatism. Personally, I have noticed each of them for different reasons. James is interesting because of his ...
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How should I understand “pragmatic”?

I've read this here: Empiricists see empiricism as a pragmatic compromise between philosophical skepticism and nomothetic science; philosophical skepticism is in turn sometimes referred to as "...