Best 104 of Pragmatism quotes - MyQuotes
Do you know what I think?" Marcone said. "You think we should shoot Nicodemus in the back at the first opportunity and let Michael dismember him." "Yes." I drew my gun. "Okay.
Books and minds only work when they're open.
...never let a passion for the perfect take precedence over pragmatism.
Es [gibt] vielleicht pragmatische Urteile, nicht aber pragmatische Gerechtigkeit.
Common sense is BETTER for one sphere of life, science for another, philosophic criticism for a third; but whether either be TRUER absolutely, Heaven only knows.
I don't know whether Western listeners would find my words embarrassing—it is difficult for me to judge that kind of reaction—but I would put it this way: those people who have lived in the most terrible conditions, on the frontier between life and death, be it people from the West or from the East, all understand that between good and evil there is an irreconcilable contradiction, that it is not one and the same thing—good or evil—that one cannot build one's life without regard to this distinction. I am surprised that pragmatic philosophy consistently scorns moral considerations; and nowadays in the Western press we read a candid declaration of the principle that moral considerations have nothing to do with politics. I would remind you that in 1939 England thought differently. If moral considerations were not applicable to politics, then it would be incomprehensible why England went to war with Hitler's Germany. Pragmatically, you could have gotten out of the situation, but England chose the moral course, and experienced and demonstrated to the world perhaps the most brilliant and heroic period in its history.
Truth is what your contemporaries let you get away with.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Every positive attempt was as a result of encouragement, every encouragement leads to success.
Pragmatists are sometimes more prone to illusion than dreamers; when they fall for something, they fall hard, not knowing how to protect themselves, while we dreamers are more practiced in surviving the disillusionment that follows when we wake up from our dreams.
They want me to do something, and I'll do it, or I won't do it, and it'll work or not, and I'll survive or not.
The most violent revolutions in an individual's beliefs leave most of his old order standing. Time and space, cause and effect, nature and history, and one's own biography remain untouched. New truth is always a go-between, a smoother-over of transitions. It marries old opinion to new fact so as ever to show a minimum of jolt, a maximum of continuity. We hold a theory true just in proportion to its success in solving this 'problem of maxima and minima.' But success in solving this problem is eminently a matter of approximation. We say this theory solves it on the whole more satisfactorily than that theory; but that means more satisfactorily to ourselves, and individuals will emphasize their points of satisfaction differently.
In meetings philosophy might work, on the field practicality works.
The media and intelligentsia were partly complicit in Trump's depiction of the world as a dystopia headed for even greater disaster. 'Charge the cockpit or you die!' cried the pro-Trump intellectual right. 'I'd rather see the empire burn to the ground under Trump, opening up at least the possibility of radical change, than cruise on autopilot under Clinton,' said the pro-Trump left. When people believe that the world is heading off a cliff, they are receptive to the perennial appeal of demagogues: 'What do you have to lose?' But if the media and intellectuals put events into statistical and historical context, rather than constantly crying 'crisis,' they would make it clearer what the answer to that question is. Revolutionary regimes from Nazi Germany and Maoist China to contemporary Venezuela show that people have a tremendous amount to lose when a charismatic leader forces a radical personal vision on a society. A modern liberal democracy is a precious achievement. Until the messiah comes, it will always have problems, but it's better to solve problems than to start a conflagration and hope for the best.
Americans will not and should not respond to a political creed that cherishes the past solely because it offers an excuse for shutting out the hard facts and difficult tasks of the present.
Pragmatism avails a savior far more than aestheticism.
To be a saint or a man of too good a nature in today's pragmatic world, with everyone out to get the other fellow, was equivalent to being a fool, wasn't it?
Too much faith is the worst ally. When you believe in something literally, through your faith you'll turn it into something absurd. One who is a genuine adherent, if you like, of some political outlook, never takes its sophistries seriously, but only its practical aims, which are concealed beneath these sophistries. Political rhetoric and sophistries do not exist, after all, in order that they be believed; rather, they have to serve as a common and agreed upon alibi. Foolish people who take them in earnest sooner or later discover inconsistencies in them, begin to protest, and finish finally and infamously as heretics and apostates. No, too much faith never brings anything good...
He gave me a hard smile before clapping on his helmet. It enclosed his entire head and featured a multifunction power-optic visor, holovid camera with continuous map-revise data stream, laser communication capability, and an omnifilter respirator. Like his soft-armored combat jumpsuit, it had an environmental system to keep him comfy. His belt held a Kagi sidearm, a monster commando knife in place of the usual Ivanov stunner, small flexcanteens of water, coffee and nutrigoo, and a bulb of trailblazer spray.
Democracy is not an end; it is the best political means available toward the achievement of these values.
To put it most simply, the evangelical ethos is activistic, populist, pragmatic, and utilitarian. It allows little space for broader or deeper intellectual effort because it is dominated by the urgencies of the moment.
Tama J. Kieves
WIth both trepidation and relief, I abandoned pragmatism in favor of magnetism.
A few simple tips for life: feet on the ground, head to the skies, heart open...quiet mind
But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy.
What super powers are hiding behind your insanities?
Their grumpiness is often the grumpiness of perfectionists who hold that anything less than total victory is failure, a premise that makes it easy to give up at the start or to disparage the victories that are possible. This is Earth. It will never be heaven. There will always be cruelty, always be violence, always be de- struction.
A matter of pragmatism; chemically knocking someone senseless is usually quieter, less messy and less risky to the assailant than killing them.
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
What was the power that induced strong soldiers to put off their jackets and shirts, and present their hands to be tied up, and tortured for hours, it might be, under the scourge, with an air of ready volition? The moral coercion of despair; the result of an unconscious calculation of chances that satisfies them that it is ultimately better to do all that, bad as it is, than try the alternative. These unconscious calculations are going on every day with each of us, and the results embody themselves in our lives; and no one knows that there has been a process and a balance struck, and that what they see, and very likely blame, is by the fiat of an invisible but quite irresistible power.
I am growing old enough not to care much for the MANNER of doing things.
Where our ideas cannot copy definitely their object, what does agreement with that object mean? Some idealists seem to say that they are true whenever they are what God means that we ought to think about that object. Others hold the copy-view all through, and speak as if our ideas possessed truth just in proportion as they approach to being copies of the Absolute's eternal way of thinking. These views, you see, invite pragmatistic discussion. But the great assumption of the intellectualists is that truth means essentially an inert static relation. When you've got your true idea of anything, there's an end of the matter. You're in possession; you KNOW; you have fulfilled your thinking destiny. You are where you ought to be mentally; you have obeyed your categorical imperative; and nothing more need follow on that climax of your rational destiny. Epistemologically you are in stable equilibrium. Pragmatism, on the other hand, asks its usual question. "Grant an idea or belief to be true," it says, "what concrete difference will its being true make in anyone's actual life? How will the truth be realized? What experiences will be different from those which would obtain if the belief were false? What, in short, is the truth's cash-value in experiential terms?" The moment pragmatism asks this question, it sees the answer: TRUE IDEAS ARE THOSE THAT WE CAN ASSIMILATE, VALIDATE, CORROBORATE AND VERIFY. FALSE IDEAS ARE THOSE THAT WE CANNOT. That is the practical difference it makes to us to have true ideas; that, therefore, is the meaning of truth, for it is all that truth is known-as.
The principle chore of brains is to get the body parts where they should be in order that the organism may survive. Improvements in sensorimotor control confer an evolutionary advantage: a fancier style of representing [the world] is advantageous so long as it... enhances an organism's chances for survival. Truth, whatever that is, takes the hindmost.
The senses give both us and the animals access to the natural world, but we humans have superimposed a second world by internalizing a poem, thereby making the two worlds seem equally inescapable. Outside of the natural sciences, reason works within the second world, following paths that the imagination has cleared. But inside those sciences, nature itself shows the way,
Philosophers have actually devoted themselves, in the main, neither to perceiving the world, nor to spinning webs of conceptual theory, but to interpreting the meaning of the civilization which they have represented.
The art of diplomacy is finding a reasonable route among imperfect alternatives.
The author's projected intellectual climate nearly 500 years in the future proclaims itself too pragmatic to consider living well as important as material satisfaction. This reminds us, ironically, that choosing NOT to consider life's deeper questions is in itself a choice with profound and lasting consequences.
Intellectual progress usually occurs through sheer abandonment of questions together with both of the alternatives they assume -- an abandonment that results from their decreasing vitality and a change of urgent interest. We do not solve them: we get over them.
It is as if a man should hesitate indefinitely to ask a certain woman to marry him because he was not perfectly sure that she would prove an angel after he brought her home. Would he not cut himself off from that particular angel-possibility as decisively as if he went and married some one else? Scepticism, then, is not avoidance of option; it is option of a certain particular kind of risk. Better risk loss of truth than chance of error,-that is your faith-vetoer's exact position. He is actively playing his stake as much as the believer is; he is backing the field against the religious hypothesis, just as the believer is backing the religious hypothesis against the field.
Intellectual and moral progress is not a matter of getting closer to an antecedent goal but of surpassing the past.
Cine a ucis stelele? Cine a surpat drumul spre viitor al celor din morminte?
Defined simply, narcissism means excessive self-preoccupation; pragmatism means excessive focus on work, achievement, and the practical concerns of life; and restlessness means an excessive greed for experience, an overeating, not in terms of food but in terms of trying to drink in too much of life...And constancy of all three together account for the fact that we are so habitually self-absorbed by heartaches, headaches, and greed for experience that we rarely find the time and space to be in touch with the deeper movements inside of and around us.
Iain M. Banks
The trick, he supposed, was never to lose sight of the theoretical possibility while not for a moment taking the idea remotely seriously.
Peace is the opposite of dreaming. It’s built slowly and surely through brutal compromises and tiny victories that you don’t even see. It’s a messy business, bringing peace into the world.
It might be added that the concept 'doctrines of men' [WCF 1.10] now arguably includes behaviourism, pragmatism, dynamic equivalence, and modern textual criticism.
Witta feared nothing - except to be poor.
Charles Sanders Peirce
What the pragmatist has his pragmatism for is to be able to say, Here is a definition and it does not differ at all from your confusedly apprehended conception because there is no practical difference.
...nature itself is a poem that we humans have written [...and] the imagination is the principle vehicle of human progress.
An outree explanation, violating all our preconceptions, would never pass for a true account of a novelty. We should scratch round industriously till we found something less excentric.
Den som har visjoner, bør oppsøke lege.
Simone De Beauvoir
To make something good of the future, you have to look the present in the face.
Even though he said no store in uncanny things, he was soldier enough to value with whatever weapon came to hand.
We need to think of imagination not as the faculty that produces visual or auditory images but as a combination of novelty and luck.