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The Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Studies of Selected Pivotal Ideas, edited by Philip P. Wiener (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973-74), vol. 3, pp. 551-570.



When Arthur O. Lovejoy (in 1908) discriminated thirteen meanings of pragmatism and showed that some of them were in contradiction with one another, he raised the problem of whether there was any coherent core of ideas that could define the doctrine or movement that was so widely discussed by American and European thinkers in various disciplines. Certainly Charles S. Peirce and William James (who credited Peirce in 1897 with inventing the doctrine) had divergent ideas in their "pragmatic" theories of truth. There were also divergences among those writers in the United States and abroad who defended their own particular versions of pragmatism, e.g., John Dewey, George H. Mead, F. C. S. Schiller, G. Vailati, G. Papini, Mario Calderoni, Hans Vaihinger, and others on the fringes of philosophy. The latter group, ranging from scientists like Henri Poincaré and Percy Bridgman to legal, political, and even literary minds such as O. W. Holmes, Jr., Georges Sorel, and Luigi Pirandello respectively, make it especially difficult to include their varieties of pragmatism within the same set of ideas that are common to Peirce, James, and Dewey. At one extremity one can find self-styled pragmatists with a Jamesian tendency to regard their personal experience as a sufficient source and test of truth; the extreme group in the undefined fringe can only charitably be included in Peirce's ideal community of minds whose opinions in the long run are destined to converge on the one unalterable Platonic truth.

From the standpoint of the history of ideas a well tried and useful method of arriving at a common core of component ideas of any group's doctrines is to consider historically the ideas which that group of thinkers was opposing or trying to combat intellectually with regard to some problem viewed in its cultural and historical context. It will become evident that we can discern historically a substantial though complex core of such component ideas that came to the fore in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in opposition to certain long established traditional modes of belief. Common to this substantial core of pragmatism is an opposition to the absolute separation of thought from action, of pure from applied science, of intuition or revelation from experience or experimental verification, of private interests from public concern --- concrete applications of older philosophical problems concerning the relation of universals to particulars. It will also be evident that each alleged historical example of pragmatism shows a wide variety of individual ways of resolving these problems, especially when we include the outer fringe of those calling their very personal effusions "pragmatic."

It is not the intellectual historian's task to decide which of the many variants of pragmatism is the "correct" one. Usage in all its culturally varied ramifications is the primary concern here, and the historical effects of such usages on subsequent intellectual developments in various fields are difficult enough to trace. The usage

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or core of ideas central to pragmatism that has been most influential historically in many fields is found in contributions to methodology and the theory of value judgments. Against supernaturalism, authoritarianism, and eternally fixed norms of belief and values stand the more flexible method and dynamic values of naturalistic empiricism, temporalism, and pluralistic individualism as the chief component ideas at the center of what is most coherent and enduring in the many varieties of pragmatism. However, we cannot overlook the historical deviations from this central core, especially as they provide evidence of the pluralism, individualism, and relativism defended by our "core" pragmatists. Since some of these ideas are also found in other philosophical schools, we must acknowledge the difficulty of defining the borders of pragmatism.

Hence it is not surprising that there is no one general definition of pragmatism that covers all the historical doctrines that have been given that name. In the comprehensive account of the subject by H. S. Thayer an attempt at a general definition makes pragmatism stand for (1) a procedural rule for explicating meanings of certain philosophical and scientific concepts; (2) "a theory of knowledge, experience, and reality maintaining that (a) thought and knowledge are biologically and socially evolved modes by means of adaptation" and control; (b) reality is transitional and thought is a guide to satisfying interests or realizing purposes; (c) "all knowledge is a behavioral process evaluative of future experience" and thinking is experimentally aimed at organizing, planning, or controlling future experience; and (3) "a broad philosophic attitude toward our conceptualization of experience" (H. S. Thayer [1968], p. 431). However, Thayer's summary outline of a definition of "the aim and formative doctrines of pragmatism," despite its comprehensiveness does not dwell sufficiently on the very varied character and conflicting theories of method, knowledge, and reality maintained by pragmatists of different schools in diverse fields of thought and of diverse cultural and historical backgrounds.

The opening paragraph of G. Papini's work on Pragmatismo (1905-1911), a collection of his articles introducing that doctrine to Italian philosophers, reads: "Pragmatism cannot be defined. Whoever gives a definition of Pragmatism in a few words would be doing the most antipragmatic thing imaginable" (Il Pragmatismo non si può definire. Chi desse in poche parole una definizione del Pragmatismo farebbe la cosa piò antipragmatista chi si possa immaginare, p. 75). Papini was (in 1906) echoing William James's romantic aversion to fixed definitions, and even mistakenly placed Peirce in the same boat with James, thus overlooking the important difference between James's nominalism (emphasis on particular perceived consequences of ideas) and Peirce's Scotistic realism (positing the reality of universals in logic and value judgments: truth and justice being two of the most powerful ideas in the world, according to Peirce).

The historical and cultural facets of various pragmatisms do not all fit under any general definition for two reasons. First, the philosophical writings of a leading pragmatist like C. S. Peirce are concerned with and defend theories of truth and reality that are not merely procedural, behavioristic, transitional, or conceptual. Peirce's metaphysical writings contain a speculative, idealistic version of pragmatism which he called "pragmaticism" in order to disassociate his philosophy from the pragmatisms of William James and James's disciple F. C. S. Schiller. Secondly, whole areas of knowledge, other than those mentioned in the general definition above, have been discussed by diverse pragmatists in their interpretations of the nature of history, of law and politics, of language, and of mathematical logic. It is true that some pragmatists have pursued some parts of these subjects, but some have not; some have professed a profound concern for religion and others have not. Hence, instead of trying to find a general definition to cover the conflicting beliefs and widely divergent interests of all pragmatistic philosophies, the historian of ideas will find it more instructive to trace various components of the various doctrines historically held by pragmatists.

Arthur O. Lovejoy was a student of William James at Harvard, and outlined more than sixty years ago the most discriminating criticism of pragmatism in two short articles, "The Thirteen Pragmatisms" (1908, pp. 1-12, 29-39). Lovejoy's analysis of pragmatism into its component ideas yields four groups of internal conflicts and ambiguities: (1) those claims to truth which rest, on the one hand, on the psychological properties of belief as a disposition to act from those, on the other hand, which are based on the changing characters of the  objects of belief; (2) the identification of knowledge with a form of action based on some form of immediate perception (e.g., James's "radical empiricism") versus knowledge as the result of the mediation of ideas which interpret experience; (3) ethical and aesthetic judgments validated, on the one hand, by subjective emotional criteria, e.g., in the "will to believe" doctrine of William James and the personalism of F. C. S. Schiller; and on the other hand, by objective, verifiable social consequences along utilitarian lines, e.g., in John Dewey's "instrumentalism" and George Herbert Mead's social criteria of meaning; (4) Bergson's and James's appeal to immediate experience versus Peirce's "long run" theory of truth as the opinion that an indefinite community of scientific investigators will

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ultimately agree upon after continued experimental inquiry.

Lovejoy thus insisted that there are incompatible theories of knowledge, of truth, and of values present in these diverse ideas maintained by different pragmatists. F. C. S. Schiller's dramatic response to Lovejoy's discriminations was to welcome the fact that there are as many pragmatisms as there are pragmatists, but Schiller's response does not eliminate the internal discrepancies among the ideas of pragmatists. Schiller's "humanistic personalism" is diametrically opposed to Peirce's claims for logic, and reduces the definition of pragmatism to the problem of ascertaining whether there are any common ideas shared by all pragmatists in the light of the incompatible components of their philosophies.

One historical investigation of the American founders and evolutionary background of pragmatism (Wiener [1949], Ch. 9), by minimizing the differences and stressing optimistically "the common features," attempted to establish the following general components: (1) a pluralistic empiricism or method of investigating piecemeal the physical, biological, psychological, linguistic, and social problems which are not resolvable by a single metaphysical formula or a priori system; e.g., Chauncey Wright, William James, John Dewey, C. I. Lewis, John H. Randall, Jr., Sidney Hook, Ernest Nagel, Y. Bar-Hillel, Charles W. Morris; (2) a temporalistic view of reality and knowledge as the upshot of an evolving stream of consciousness (W. James) or of objects of consciousness (C. S. Peirce), including ideas and claims to truth, processes of observation, measurement, and experimental testing; (3) a relativistic or contextualistic conception of reality and values in which traditional eternal ideas of space, time, causation, axiomatic truth, intrinsic and eternal values are all viewed as relative to varying psychological, social, historical, or logical contexts (Chauncey Wright, William James, George Herbert Mead, John Dewey, Stephen C. Pepper, F. P. Ramsey, and C. I. Lewis); (4) a probabilistic view of physical and social hypotheses and laws in opposition to both mechanistic or dialectical determinism and historical necessity or inevitability, yielding a fallibilistic theory of knowledge and values opposed to dogmatic certainty and infallibility (W. James, C. S. Peirce, O. W. Holmes, Jr., J. Dewey, Ernest Nagel, Sidney Hook, H. Reichenbach); (5) a secular democratic individualism asserting the right of individuals to live in a free society without the sanctions of supernatural theological revelation or totalitarian authority. This pragmatic individualism of the American pragmatists is linked to a political tradition that goes back to John Locke and the European Enlightenment, and is represented historically in the United States by thinkers from all walks of life: John Woolman, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Abraham Lincoln, and Walt Whitman.

It is typical of pragmatic ideas that they are not restricted to the ideas of professional philosophers, but often find influential expression among lawyers and judges like Nicholas St. John Green (the "grandfather of pragmatism," according to C. S. Peirce), Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Jerome Frank, Carl Llewellyn; among logicians and scientists like Chauncey Wright, C. S. Peirce, G. Vailati, Pierre Duhem, Henri Poincaré, Edward Le Roy, C. I. Lewis, W. V. O. Quine, Percy Bridgman; among historians like Carl Becker and Charles Beard; among literary figures such as Irwin Edman and Luigi Pirandello; and even the syndicalist Georges Sorel.

We cannot simply equate the "pragmatic" with the "practical" as is so commonly done by popular writers. For technically in philosophy, "practical" may refer to Kant's idea of the categorical imperative in his Critique of Practical Reason, which placed the pragmatische on a much lower level than the praktische. Furthermore, "practical" in ordinary discourse is often synonymous with the "convenient," the "useful," and the "profitable" and thus contributes to enormous misunderstandings of the serious aims of pragmatism. Among the empirical varieties of pragmatism "practical" refers to what is experimental or capable of being tested in action, not quite the same as Marx's use of "praxis" or alleged "identity of theory and practice." The American pragmatists preferred the experimental meaning without the dialectics. At Harvard, in the first decades of the twentieth century, George Santayana criticized William James and John Dewey for failing to subordinate "practical thought" to eternal Platonic values.

Santayana's chapter on "How Thought is Practical" in the first volume of his  Life of Reason (5 vols., 1905-06) is far from making him a pragmatist. Writing at Harvard as a younger colleague of William James, Santayana did not consider his own peculiar blend of Platonism and naturalism in accord with the pragmatic movement at Harvard; he regarded James as a romantic subjectivist. Santayana, in this first major work,  The Life of Reason, maintained against the instrumentalist theory of consciousness that "In so far as thought is instrumental it is not worth having, any more than matter, except for its promise; it must terminate in something truly profitable and ultimate which being good in itself, may lend value to all that led up to it.... In a word the value of thought is ideal" (I, 218-19). From Santayana's aristocratic standpoint, "thought is in no way instrumental or servile; it is an

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experience realized, not a force to be used" (ibid., 214). It is no wonder then that neither James nor Dewey could accept Santayana's Platonic naturalism. Santayana was certainly not as democratic as James or Dewey in political theory, but followed the classical tradition of Plato and Aristotle in associating democracy with demagoguery and in favoring a form of intellectual timocracy. Thus the component features of pragmatism discussed above appear in the American variety, deeply hued by its British ancestry, and also in some of the continental European forms of pragmatism to be discussed below. However, each of the component aspects of even the American and British forms of pragmatism has had its antecedents in the more distant cultural and intellectual history of Europe, and may be traced back to some of the ideas of ancient classical and the Enlightenment's versions of both "practical" and speculative thought, yielding among its important fruits a pragmatic transformation of the basis of law in civilization and an empirical theory of value judgments in general. The next section explores some of the "old ways of thinking" for which "pragmatism is only a new name," as James put it.


The very term "pragmatic" with its Greek root pragma ("affair, practical matter") was borrowed by the Romans to mean "skilled in business, and especially, experienced in matters of law"; hence, a  pragmaticus was "one skilled in the law, who furnished orators and advocates with the principles on which they based their speeches" (Cicero, Orationes 1, 59; cf. also Quintilian 12, 3, 4; Juvenal 7, 123; Ulpian, Digest 48, 17, 9). In late Latin juridical writings a pragmatic sanction (pragmatica sanctio) was an imperial decree that permitted an activity in the community's affairs (Justinian Code 1, 2, 10).

When James and Peirce generously refer to Socrates as a forerunner of pragmatism, they perhaps had in mind Plato's dramatized Socratic activity of inquiring into the meanings of ideas about friendship, courage, justice, piety, and so forth in dialogues with the young citizens of the Athenian community. However, the logic of Plato was more of a semantic exercise than "pragmatic" in either James's psychological sense or Peirce's experimental methodology. Without going into the philosophical question raised by W. Lutoslawski's thesis that Aristotle's logic was a continuation of Plato's, it is safe to say that the problems of the syntax and semantics of language were more systematically treated in Aristotle's logical treatises. Plato's inquiry in the  Parmenides whether "Being is One or Many" and whether "Non-Being is or is not" proceeds semantically to avoid verbal contradictions, but to imagine that such exercises of language suffice to understand the problems of existence, such as the struggle for existence, would be unfair to Plato's purpose. The semantic analysis is only part of Plato's thinking, but it predominates over any pragmatic intent. For example, viewing the State as "the individual writ large" (Republic, Book II) leads metaphorically to an ideal utopia. When Plato seems to be practical in the Laws, the pragmatic aspects of his political proposals (e.g., censorship and religious intolerance with possible death penalty) are shocking to modern liberals; the result is that scholars differ in deploring or explaining away the totalitarian aspects of the  Laws.

Aristotle's use of the "practical syllogism" in ethics and his notion of each subject having its own method belong to the ancient sources of the functional and pluralistic methodology of those pragmatists who link their ideas to an Aristotelianism stripped of medieval supernaturalism (e.g., G. H. Mead; J. H. Randall, Jr.). Aristotle's "practical syllogism" consists in stating in the major premiss the object desired or goal to be achieved, and in the minor premiss the means which experience has shown necessary to attain the desired end, so that one can conclude that a good result may be attained by acting with the means indicated. For example, one who wishes to be a good musician must learn how to play a certain instrument; a practical syllogism would demonstrate that practice in mastering that instrument is necessary in order to achieve the desired goal. The pluralism of methods, categories, and goals of human endeavor also characterizes certain "pragmatic" aspects of Aristotle's applied logic. For example, Aristotle states it would be practically foolish for a mathematician to prove theorems in his science by the same methods of argumentation that an orator uses in a political speech, and conversely.

According to G. H. Mead and John Dewey, what is not pragmatic in Plato and Aristotle is their belief that nature, especially human nature, was essentially fixed in its eternal features. A Sophist like Protagoras and Sextus Empiricus was closer to the relativistic and empirical view of modern pragmatists, a view that can be found even in "God-intoxicated" Spinoza, namely, that the good is not what eternally determines our nature or desires; it is the variety of natures and desires that determines what is good. "Music is good for the melancholy, bad for the mourner, and neither good nor bad to the deaf" ( Ethics, Part IV, preface). Again we cannot simply bring under the rubric "pragmatism" the philosophies of Aristotle, Spinoza, or Santayana or of any other thinker who espouses this relativistic view of values, when in fact there are so many nonempirical aspects present in their philosophies, such as Aristotle's "unmoved mover," Spi-

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noza's "intellectual love of God," or Santayana's eternal "realms of being."

Medieval and modern forms of casuistry are considered by some writers as "pragmatic" insofar as general rules are adapted to practical situations; but we should not therefore regard the Tartuffes as pragmatists. Critics of pragmatism often wish to condemn the doctrine as sheer opportunism, or as "guilt by association" with such self-styled "pragmatic" theories as Georges Sorel's doctrine of violence.

In his "Lessons from the History of Science," Peirce viewed science as an outgrowth of the thinking of ancient and medieval philosophers; Peirce was more appreciative of medieval logic in the history of the sciences than nearly all his contemporaries. (Pierre Duhem, of course, is an outstanding exception among partly pragmatic philosophical historians of medieval science.) Peirce adopted Duns Scotus' theory of true universals as inherent in particulars, and called it "Scotistic realism." Peirce had translated Petrus Peregrinus' difficult manuscript on the magnetic properties of the lodestone. In these medieval thinkers Peirce saw some continuity with the modern scientific method of treating hypotheses (based on analogical comparisons of present with past observations), drawing inferences (preferably mathematically) from these conjectured hypotheses, and testing the deduced consequences by experiment. However, he rejected the scholastics' recourse to the authority of the Church Fathers and to their version of Aristotle, and favored the "self-corrective method" of experimental inductive science. His logic of relations went far beyond the classical logic, Peirce developing logic as a continuation and generalization of the subject-predicate logic of statements, after De Morgan and Boole.

Among the Renaissance precursors of the pragmatic union of experimental action and theoretical contemplation we may surely place the experimentalism in art and science represented by the works of such masters as Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo. Rudolfo Mondolfo, in his essay on the idea of manual and intellectual work, following a Hippocratic text which declared that man knows best what he makes (an idea developed in the Scienza nuova [1725] by G. B. Vico), has suggested a plausible Renaissance source of this interrelationship in Galileo's development of an intuition expressed in Ficino's Theologia platonica: "What is human art? A kind of nature that treats matter from the outside." This external treatment of nature takes the place of the scholastic idea of nature as "being within matter itself; but human art can produce any reality produced by nature, so long as man can struggle successfully with matter and with the necessary instruments.... Leonardo had already expressed his view of mechanics as the noblest and most useful of the sciences as well as the paradise of mathematical sciences because it yields the harvested fruit of these sciences in practical application" (R. Mondolfo [1950], p. 22, notes 9 and 10).

Of course, the Renaissance sources pertinent to the roots of pragmatism go back to the revival of classical ideas of natural processes and ways of living with them such as were explored by the pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Archimedes, the Epicureans, and the Stoics, and include those medieval thinkers who (like Roger Bacon and the Padovan Averroists) saw the advantages of combining experimental activity with theoretical speculation. Philosophy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries developed rival schools, later labelled "empiricism" and "rationalism" depending on the emphasis given to sense-experience or "pure" reasoning, but that these two aspects of knowledge are inseparable in scientific knowledge was the great achievement of Immanuel Kant before the pragmatists developed their philosophical versions of the interplay of thought and experience in all scientific and value judgments.

A sharp separation of theory and practice, however, is reflected in Kant's distinction between ethical and "pragmatic" rules. Kant's ethical rule is a "categorical imperative" based on the individual's inner "pure practical" reason, free will, and universal consciousness of one's  a priori duty to respect all persons as ends in themselves; Kant's pragmatic (pragmatische) rule is practical in the very different sense of having to do only with rules of prudence which belong to the technical imperatives or means required to achieve desired ends: "For what is prudence but the skill to use free men and even natural dispositions and inclinations for one's own purposes?" (Kant,  Critique of Judgment, Introduction). This Kantian distinction so sharply separates subjective from objective considerations, ends from means, and pure reason from social experience that post-Kantian thinkers, including the romantic Schelling, as well as Schopenhauer and Hegel and some of the American pragmatists (especially C. S. Peirce and John Dewey) were led to seeking a closer and more organic relationship between morality and mankind's other intellectual and cultural concerns.

Knowing that Chauncey Wright and C. S. Peirce daily discussed Kant's philosophy for two years at Harvard in the third quarter of the nineteenth century, the historian of pragmatism is not surprised to find that Kant's limitation of our knowledge of nature to what is observable became a cardinal empiricistic principle of some of the Harvard pragmatists, along with controversies about the role of a priori categories in interpreting the sensory manifold. There was also critical discussion of Kant's absolute separation of means and

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ends in ethics. Peirce, for example, could accept the a priori elements in Kant's theory of knowledge but not his categorical imperative in ethics; for Peirce, as for James and Dewey, all value judgments are hypothetical, of the form: if men desire to attain certain ends in any harmonious way, they will probably achieve these ends by acting in accord with certain specifiable empirical conditions. Only by conducting themselves according to such hypothetical rules, will men discover after "trial and error" (often painful) experience, whether they really find the attained ends desirable.

Hegel made an impressive attempt to establish the unity of means and ends, of the subjective and objective aspects of experience and thought, of the individual and the state, and of universal reason and particular events in his monistic metaphysics and philosophy of history. In this respect Hegelianism is part of the intellectual background of early forms of pragmatism and of Marxism.

"Pragmatic history," is a subspecies of "reflective history" in Hegel's classification of three kinds of history: (1) "original history" written by those historians observing events in their own lifetime; (2) "reflective history," not limited to the time of the historian "whose spirit transcends the present"; and (3) "philosophical history," which allegedly shows that "Reason is the Sovereign of the World." Pragmatic history consists of didactic reflections on the past for the purpose of drawing lessons from it that can be applied to moral and political problems of the present. Examples of pragmatic history appear in patriotic histories and the biographies of heroes and spiritual leaders that are supposed to teach rulers, statesmen, and moralists how to be guided by the experience of the past. However, Hegel clearly shows his contempt for this pragmatic kind of history when he states emphatically:

But what experience and history teach is this --- that peoples and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.
(Philosophy of History , Introduction, trans. W. Sibree).

This sentence is often quoted by antihistorical writers; they fail, however, to note that Hegel obviously draws this meta-historical statement from his rather extensive study of history. They fail also to note that Hegel concludes his remarks on pragmatic history by observing that the more objective reflective historian will insist on the distinctiveness of his own age as well as of the age whose history he depicts. Pragmatic historians still insist that our knowledge of the past is or should be determined by the interest and problems of the present, thus ignoring Hegel.

Peirce, in his later years, and Dewey, in his early career, show the influence of the Hegelian ideas of organic unity and historical continuity in the cultural life of mankind. However, their pragmatic attitudes toward experience and history diverge radically from Hegel's absolutism and dialectical method: Peirce was sharply critical of Hegel's logic and deficiency in mathematics, although he shared with Josiah Royce sympathy for Hegel's spiritual monism:

My whole method [of using triadic categories] will be found to be in profound contrast with that of Hegel; I reject his philosophy in toto, nevertheless, I have a certain sympathy with it, and fancy that if its author had only noticed a very few circumstances he would himself have been led to revolutionize his system.... He has usually overlooked external Secondness, altogether. In other words, he has committed the trifling oversight of forgetting that this is a real world with real actions and reactions. Rather a serious oversight that. Then Hegel had the misfortune to be unusually deficient in mathematics.
(Collected Papers, 1.368, "A Guess at the Riddle," ca. 1890).

While Peirce criticized Hegel's logic and neglect of physics and mathematics, Dewey abandoned Hegel's a priori dialectical method because it was not experimental and had too fixed a conception of human nature, society, and history. In the United States from the 1860's to the 1880's we can trace the growth of the impact of Hegelianism. John Dewey's Psychology (1885) reflected the impact of the St. Louis School of W. T. Harris and Denton J. Synder. Hegelian ideas mark the first writings of the positivist J. B. Stallo, and the Spencerian Hegelian, Francis Ellingwood Abbot. Also, among the origins of the American pragmatists was an antimetaphysical "back to Kant" movement in a reaction to Hegel, stimulated by the rapid growth of the physical sciences and Darwin's evolutionary theory (Wiener [1949], pp. 2f.).

Kant's separation of phenomena from the metaphysical unknowable "thing-in-itself" (Ding an sich) led to the positivistic element in empiricistic pragmatism. It appears in Chauncey Wright's antimetaphysical attack on both the Hegelian absolutists and the Spencerian "social Darwinists" (as they were later called; Wright, after reading Haeckel, labelled their ideas "German Darwinism"). There is also a positivistic strain in the early work of William James, as he admits in the Preface to his first book, Principles of Psychology (1890).


Early twentieth-century developments in logic and philosophy of science led away from Comte's positivism and Mill's psychologism to the Viennese school of logical positivists with whom many pragmatists share an operational and antimetaphysical viewpoint. Later,

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on removal to England and the United States, as well as in Poland and other countries in Europe, logical positivists preferred the name "logical empiricists." Rudolf Carnap offered a definition of "pragmatics" following "syntactics" and "semantics" in order to show the relationship of formal logic to empirical and psychological aspects of meaning, as well as to distinguish all three. "Syntactics" is the formal study of the logical rules of formation and transformation of statements. In any formal language, e.g., of logic or mathematics, the "rules of formation" determine what statements are "well formed" combinations of the elements of the language used. The syntactical "rules of transformation" determine the equivalences, inferences, and forms of proof which are logically acceptable within a system whose elements and elementary or basic statements conform to the principles of formation. "Semantics" (in logic) is concerned with the relationship of well formed statements or of ordinary language to what they designate. The interpretation or application of a set of axioms in pure mathematics, for example, would be a semantic question. Finally we come to "pragmatics" which deals with the behavioral or experimental conditions for verifying the inferences or testing the truth claims of hypotheses, laws, and theories. "Pragmatics" will ask for specification of the operations that need to be performed and the empirical conditions that should be met by all experimenters if their findings are to be acceptable to others. This "operational" requirement is what is meant by the criterion of "intersubjectivity" or public verifiability.

Pragmatism then, in this twentieth-century version, is another name for the operational theory of scientific method, and is closely linked to logical empiricism. This operational variety of pragmatism is the historical outcome of the many attempts of philosophers, mathematicians, and experimental scientists to avoid sterile speculation, subjective intuitions, and unverifiable hypotheses (of the sort Newton rejected when he said hypotheses non fingo, although he accepted absolute space and time as the ultimate framework of the physical universe). Bar-Hillel has criticized the separation of syntax and semantics from the pragmatic elements of language; he and Roman Jakobson refer to Peirce's theory of signs (Linguaggi nella società  e nella tecnica, Milan [1970], pp. 3-16, 269-84), and find useful Peirce's classification of signs as icons, indices, and symbols.

Among the mathematical philosophers, especially in France, Italy, England, and Germany for the last hundred years, the study of formal axiomatic systems and their relation to experience led to a rejection of Descartes' view of intuitively self-evident truth based on his criterion of clear and distinct ideas. This crite rion of intuitive self-evidence had been employed to justify the indubitable metaphysical truth of Euclid's axioms epitomized in Galileo's view that the book of nature was written in the language of Euclid's geometry. The advent of non-Euclidean geometries in the first part of the nineteenth century put an end to the exclusive ontological claims of Euclid's axioms, and reopened fundamental questions in the philosophy of science about the grounds for determining the meaning and truth of axiomatic sets. The proofs of the consistency and isomorphism of non-Euclidean and Euclidean systems made it clear that self-evidence was not an adequate test of meaning or truth, since the non-Euclidean axioms were not obvious or self-evident, e.g., that through a point outside a line no lines or (in an alternative system) an infinite number of lines can be drawn parallel to a given line. The meaning of such abstract axioms can only be ascertained by working out the deducible theorems or logical consequences of the axioms, and their interpretation or application. This orientation of the mind to developing the consequences of logically primitive statements instead of attempting to grasp their meaning in an immediate mental act of intuition provides the basis for the views of those German, French, and Italian mathematical philosophers (e.g., Leibniz, Dedekind, Frege, Hilbert, Cantor; Poincaré, Herbrand, Couturat; Peano, Vacca, Vailati) who explored the logical foundations of axiomatic systems of the theory of numbers. By establishing alternative sets of axioms and tests of internal consistency, mutual independence, and completeness of axiom-sets, these scientists showed little or no concern for any "indubitable" self-evidence of their axioms. Felix Klein and Henri Poincaré also made it clear that in pure mathematics no axioms are privileged; the upshot of these developments is to support a sort of democratic equality among axioms with respect to claims of truth (Vailati,  Scritti). Thus, in pure mathematics, historically the "queen of the sciences," meaning was reducible to the "pencil and paper operations," as Percy Bridgman called them in his operational theory of meaning, for the purely mathematical and logical aspects of scientific research. The experimental aspects that yield more concrete empirically applicable meanings for hypotheses about "matters of fact" depend on specifying what must be done experimentally to test the logical consequences of the hypotheses in question.

C. S. Peirce was the best equipped of the American founders of pragmatism to develop the operational logic of mathematical and physical science, and to extend it to the analysis of philosophical concepts and problems of meaning. As a first-rate mathematician, astronomer, physicist, and chemist, he kept in touch

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with the new views of Dedekind, Cantor, Mach, Ostwald, and others who were digging deep into the foundations of mathematics and physical science. Peirce translated the chapter on weights and measures of Mach's important history of the science of mechanics (1883; trans. 1893), and even claimed prior discovery of the principle of the "economy of thought" before Mach.


Alexander Bain, whom Peirce regarded as the Scottish ancestor of pragmatism, had in his psychological writings defined an idea or belief as a disposition to act in a certain way under certain conditions. Applying this definition to the problem of meaning, Peirce formulated his famous prescription for fixing the meaning of a concept: "Consider what effects that might conceivably have practical bearings you conceive the object of your conception to have. Then your conception of those effects is the WHOLE of your conception of the object." This rule for attaining a higher grade of clarity than Cartesian intuition or Leibnizian calculus of reasoning is the locus classicus of Peirce's form of pragmatism. He stated it first in the early 1870's before the informal "Metaphysical Club" in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where a group consisting of the mathematical empiricist Chauncey Wright, the psychologist William James, three lawyers (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Nicholas St. John Green, Joseph B. Warner), the historian John Fiske, and the "scientific theist" Francis E. Abbott met from time to time to discuss the philosophical questions of the day. Among those questions the Darwinian controversy loomed large and led to disputes about science and religion, positivism and metaphysics, scientific method and the introspective investigation of the mind, ethics and legal institutions, the roles of the individual and the environment in history. The writings of Hume, Bentham, Bain, Mill, Kant, Comte, Hegel, Spencer, and Darwin furnished these Harvard Square thinkers with the fuel for illuminating problems and issues in their various fields of interest. After much crossfire and heated discussion, they found themselves more concerned with problems of method than with agreeing on a single system. The experimental method for matters of fact and logical analysis for relations of ideas were accepted as the best instruments of investigation for the natural and social sciences.

Peirce began philosophizing by discussing problems of method. His two now classic papers "The Fixation of Belief" and "How to Make Our Ideas Clear," ( Popular Science Monthly, 1877-78) were the first two of a series of "Illustrations of the Logic of Science." He claimed, about twenty years later, that these two articles were the first formulations of his variety of pragmatism (although that term does not appear in either paper). Peirce challenged traditional "seminary" types of bookish learning and contrasted them with the "laboratory" type of thinking which he advocated (in 1905) as "pragmaticism," his own brand of pragmatism. Peirce said (about thirty years after his Metaphysical Club papers) of his variety of pragmatism:

It will serve to show that almost every proposition of ontological metaphysics is either meaningless gibberish --- one word being defined by other words, and they by still others, without any real conception ever being reached --- or else is downright absurd; so that all such rubbish being swept away, what will remain of philosophy will be a series of problems capable of investigation by the observational methods of the true sciences --- the truth about which can be reached without those interminable misunderstandings and disputes which have made the highest of the positive sciences a mere amusement for idle intellects, a sort of chess --- idle pleasure its purpose, and reading out of a book its method.
("What Pragmatism Is,"  Monist 15 [1905], 171).

Peirce went on to deny that he was "merely jeering at metaphysics, like other prope-positivists" because "the pragmaticist extracts from it [metaphysics] a precious essence, which will serve to give life and light to cosmology and physics. At the same time, the moral applications of the doctrine are positive and potent and there are many other uses of it not easily classed" (ibid.).

Peirce's "Classification of the Sciences" was composed for his Lowell Institute Lectures in 1903. The adult education movement in the United States had taken to talks on the growth of sciences with their Baconian "promise of providing the relief of man's estate" as seriously as the older generation had taken their Bible lessons. These lectures reveal the progressive or futuristic outlook of Peirce's philosophy of science. There were for Peirce three classes of science in a descending order of importance: (a) Sciences of Discovery, (b) Sciences of Review, (c) Practical Sciences. It is well known that classifications of sciences vary with each new period in the history of science, but such classifications are a clue to the cultural role and value of various sciences and the philosophy of each period. To Peirce, the "Sciences of Discovery" were first and foremost because Peirce conceived of science primarily as a method of inquiry, as the most promising way of exploring the nature of Kant's "starry heavens above and the moral world within." The method of science was not a Baconian new instrument, because science for Peirce had always been an organon of the mind, although Peirce would agree with Bacon's idea that we moderns are the true ancients since we

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in our evolution have accumulated the knowledge and fruits of the experience of our predecessors.

In his experimentalism, Peirce placed great importance on the neglected role of Hypothesis as a mode of reasoning. He called the discovery of hypotheses "Abduction" to supplement what logic books previously had been mainly concerned with, viz., "Deduction" and "Induction." The reason for this novel importance which Peirce attached to the role of hypothesis is based on the logical ground that all generalizations from particular facts of observation have to be continuous extensions of what is typical or representative in these facts as gathered from previous experience. For example, although the life span of man has increased, the historical fact of man's mortality is the basis of the major premiss of the argument that proves that even Socrates was a mortal. No historical record of all human lives is complete, so that our general judgment that all men are mortal is a well grounded hypothesis on the rather large sample of what our limited historical records and observation have shown. To the extent that the randomly sampled cases are alike, some ground for their similarity may be "abducted" as a probable hypothesis. "Abduction" and "retroduction" were Peirce's synonyms for the form of reasoning leading to conjectural hypotheses. All historical statements about individual events are hypotheses drawn ("abducted" or "retroducted," in Peirce's terminology) from documents, monuments, remains which serve as our only links to the past if interpreted carefully. Every medical diagnosis consists of a hypothesis about the observed "symptoms" of a disease. Deciphering a secret code or strange language starts with hypotheses interpreting certain recurrent signs with the aid of frequency tables. Predictions or prognoses are hypotheses which when verified become scientific generalizations.

Peirce defined laws of nature as predictive generalizations with varying degrees of probability according to experimental tests. Peirce's contribution to the logic of hypothesis was regarded by him as the keystone of his variety of pragmatism; his "pragmaticism," armored with symbolic logic, attacked the more psychological and nominalistic views of William James and F. C. S. Schiller. Facts or the truth about reported events are always subject to and inseparable from the interpretations or hypotheses assumed by the interpreter in his reports, which are signs. To Peirce, James's "radical empiricism" as a form of direct immersion in facts lacked logical awareness of the role of hypotheses or interpretation of signs in such allegedly immediate forms of perception. The theory of signs is central to Peirce's pragmaticist logic. Peirce's pragmaticism is a theory of meaning based on the logical analysis of the conceivable consequences of adopting an hypothesis in so far as its signs and their implications affect the conduct of the inquirer in relation to what is designated by the signs. For example, if a student is puzzled over the meaning of an abstract set of axioms, and asks a mathematician to explain or justify his adoption of such a queer set of "postulates," the pragmatist's answer generally will take several forms. From the standpoint of technique, the axioms enable one to prove with the aid of acceptable rules of inference a body of theorems or consequences deducible from the axioms, thus reducing a large number of theorems to what is contained in a small number of axioms. This reduction is a practical aid to the memory. Another explanation or justification would consist in seeking out and showing by concrete interpretations (in which the axioms are all true) that the axioms are consistent; hence, the whole system of axioms and theorems must be consistent (this assumes a metalogical rule that only consistent results can be deduced from consistent axioms). Again, we may be told pragmatically that this axiomatic set permits certain "interpretations" or applications to empirical domains. Euclid's geometry is still useful to surveyors and engineers, whereas non-Euclidean geometry is applicable in modern applications of relativity theory to atomic physics and cosmology. Proof of the consistency of non-Euclidean geometry establishes the consistency of Euclid. Peirce's formulation of his pragmaticism repeatedly applied to formal sciences the above mentioned test of meaning: Consider what conceivable consequences the object of your conception has in its bearing on human conduct. Then the sum total of all these conceivable consequences constitute the total meaning of your conception.

The notion of conceivability rather than of actual perception plays a central role in Peirce's analysis of meaning in which he tried to generalize criteria of meaning to cover both formal systems and empirical statements (in physical sciences and everyday expressions). For example, "diamonds are hard" is explicated by considering what conceivable experimental consequences the hypothesis of the constant hardness of diamonds has on the bearing of that hypothesis in human conduct. To an experimenter the conduct involved would consist chiefly in testing the hypothesis by trying to penetrate or scratch a diamond with other materials or with another diamond. There is a Moh's scale of hardness, based on the results of such laboratory testing of different substances, from which it becomes predictable which substance can penetrate or scratch others. The need to specify the  operations required to test such properties led scientific thinkers from Charles Babbage (1792-1871) to Percy Bridgman to defend a generalized operational methodology. It

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is therefore historically justifiable to claim that the hard core of the American, British, French, German, and Italian varieties of pragmatism was largely a generalization of the reflections of mathematical logicians and philosophical experimenters in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

G. Vailati in 1906 was the first European to recognize Peirce's importance as greater than James's in the formulation of pragmatism. In his article in the journal Leonardo (1906): "Pragmatismo e Logica Matematica," Vailati saw three intimate relations between pragmatism and symbolic or mathematical logic; symptomatic of this close connection, he said, "is the fact that the very inaugurator of the term and conception of pragmatism, Charles S. Peirce, is also at the same time the initiator and promoter of an original direction of logico-mathematical studies" (Vailati [1957], p. 197). He indicated three points of contact between modern operational logic and pragmatism: (1) "Their common tendency is to regard the validity and even meaning of any assertion as something intimately related to the use that one could or wished to make of it through the deduction or construction of definite consequences or sets of consequences" (p. 198); postulates and axioms would then no longer be privileged in any autocratic or aristocratic fashion but be "simple employees in great `associations' that constitute the various branches of mathematics" (p. 199). (2) "The common concern of Pragmatism and modern logic is to avoid vague and imprecise generalities by reducing or analyzing every assertion into its simplest terms: those referring directly to facts or to relations among facts." The laws of science can thus be seen as expressions of hypothetical relations, contingent on such facts as "boundary conditions." The classical opposition of "facts" and "laws" begins to disappear. (3) "A third point of contact between pragmatists and mathematical logicians is their interest in historical inquiry into the development of scientific theory and in the importance that many of them attribute to such inquiry as a means of recognizing the equivalence or identity of theories which have appeared in diverse forms at various times or in different fields, though expressing substantially the same facts and serving the same purposes" (p. 200).

A further common feature is the interest in economy of expressions in order to enhance their instrumental value. Vailati's friend, a mathematical logician, G. Vacca, reported (ibid., p. 206) that when concepts or terms introduced in a theory grow arithmetically, the number of corresponding propositions to be verified grows much more rapidly in a geometrical progression according to an exponential law, stated by W. K. Clifford, and cited by G. Peano (Calcolo geometrico, 1888).

What distinguishes Peirce's "pragmaticism" is his elaboration of metaphysical categories going far beyond his proclaimed adherence to the logic of the "laboratory mind" of the experimenter, and even beyond his attempt to revive the medieval doctrine of objective universals (Scotistic realism). His unpublished "Hume on the Laws of Nature" was rejected by the scientific director of the Smithsonian Institution, Samuel P. Langley, as too abstruse. Instead of defending the "laws of Nature" as absolute, Peirce insisted on the absolute reality of one of his favorite metaphysical triads: (1) Immediately felt Qualities, (2) Brute Existence, and (3) Ordered Reasonableness, so that the laws of nature discovered by scientists were approximations, probable guesses (hypotheses) whose logical consequences had been tested by controlled experiments. Peirce, at various times in his metaphysical thought-experiments, stated his categories in various triads: Feeling, Habit, Purpose; Sensation, Resistance, Order; Spontaneity, Contingency, Law; and in evolutionary terms, Sporting Mutation, Habit, and Adaptation. The generalization of these triadic categories was simply Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness. Peirce offered applications of these very broad categories in many fields, e.g., in logic: terms, propositions, inferences; in his theory of signs: icons, indices, symbols; in his metaphysical doctrines: tychism, synechism, agapism --- Greek-derived words for Chance, Continuity, and Love.

Critics of Peirce have no difficulty showing the confusing ambiguities of his categories. "Chance" shifts meaning as Peirce applies it to spontaneity, feeling, contingency, approximation, random distribution of energy, unpredictability, individuation, uniqueness, inexplicability; "Continuity" is ambiguously applied to the laws of natural phenomena, to human habits, to all evolution including the history of scientific discoveries, and to the history of civilization. "Evolutionary Love" is a very speculative use of the Platonic idea of the attraction of all things for order emerging in millenarian fashion out of a primordial chaos of sporting feelings. No wonder then that Peirce's "Guess at the Riddle of the Universe" was not taken seriously by the more hardheaded utilitarian followers of John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer, and the "Social Darwinists" of his day.

It remains nevertheless true that Peirce made pioneer contributions to the logic of relations, to the foundations of mathematics, to the theory of probability and induction, and to the theory of signs --- contributions which have paved the way for rapid progress in mathematical logic and the logic of the sciences. Only in 1967, for example, was it discovered (by the mathematical logician A. R. Turquette) that

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Peirce had, in his unpublished papers, worked out a truth-table for a three valued logic, together with a proof of its completeness (Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, III, 66-73). Whitehead and Russell have acknowledged their debt to Peirce's calculus of relations; Frank P. Ramsey paid tribute to Peirce's theory of probable inference as truth-frequency and instrumentalist view of theories in science as "leading principles." Whether or not Peirce would have made his discoveries (e.g., in his physical and psychological experiments, in his symbolic logic, etc.) without his restless metaphysical speculations is a difficult historical and psychological question, even though one can easily prove that logically there is no necessary connection between his truth-frequency analysis of probability and his tychistic cosmology.

Josiah Royce, in his The Problem of Christianity (2 vols., 1913, Preface), paid tribute to Peirce: "I owe much more to our great and unduly neglected American logician, Mr. Charles Peirce, than I do to the common tradition of recent idealism, and certainly very much more than I have ever owed, at any point of my own philosophical development to the doctrines which... can be justly attributed to Hegel" (ibid., p. xi). In fact, Royce by defining an idea as a "plan of action" developed a theory of knowledge and reality with the outcome "a sort of absolute pragmatism, which has never been pleasing either to rationalists or to empiricists, either to pragmatists or to the ruling type of absolutists" (ibid., II, 122f.). Royce's theory of knowledge was, like Peirce's, based on a social theory of inquiry, meaning, and truth. Both he and Peirce were very critical of the subjective individualism of William James. Royce's "absolute pragmatism" required an ideal community of minds as a logically necessary condition for knowledge and reality.


It was William James who, in 1897, credited Charles S. Peirce, his friend and admirer, with having originated pragmatism. James made this announcement in a public lecture (at the Philosophical Union of the University of California in Berkeley) entitled "Philosophical Conceptions and Practical Results." In subsequent correspondence between Peirce and James, both acknowledged their debt to Chauncey Wright. Wright's stimulating analytical mind and empiricist methodology had been inspired by John Stuart Mill's critical examination of the Scottish intuitionism of Sir William Hamilton, and by Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection. Wright was a mathematician for the Nautical Almanac, and had applied his knowledge to a theory about the optimal arrangement of leaves around the stems of plants (phyllotaxis) to obtain maximum exposure to air and sunlight. The paper interested Charles Darwin, who thanked Chauncey Wright for this evidence of evolutionary adaptation.

Wright also argued for a neutral view of science with regard to moral and religious values, and for John Stuart Mill's utilitarian, relativistic theory of objective morality. William James, under the influence of his Swedenborgian father's religious philosophy, argued against Wright's skepticism. The "right" and later "duty" and "will to believe," which James defended, was the counterpoise to Wright's positivistic and "nihilistic" agnosticism. However, James admitted Wright's influence on his own scientific approach in the preface to the Principles of Psychology (1890), the forerunner of nearly all of James's ideas as developed in his later formulations of his doctrines of the will to believe, of "radical empiricism," and of pluralism --- the three major components of his variety of pragmatism and of his general philosophy.

James's article "The Function of Cognition," written for a psychological journal in 1885, shows the influence of Peirce's realism as well as elements of the operational theory of knowledge developed later by John Dewey and Percy Bridgman. James's realism and "radical empiricism" went beyond Berkeley's idealistic view that external objects are merely passive groups of sensations or ideas. That nothing exists "without the mind" was for James a totally inadequate expression of the creative dynamism and transformative powers of the mind. The same critique was levelled at the classical rationalists (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz) who maintained that the order and connections of things were simply reflected by the order and connection of ideas. The mind, for James, Peirce, Dewey, and Mead --- and their followers --- is active in knowledge, operating on and transforming its experience in order to grasp the changing relations of things and events, utilizing ideas tested experimentally as tools needed to understand and to adapt the mind to nature. We know the earth's physical properties only when we can take some of its materials into our laboratories, break down compounds into elements, discover and create new ones by experimental activities that control some of the conditions governing nature's secret powers. So long as philosophers refer knowledge to antecedent untouched sensations and eternal ideas, which do nothing and give the mind nothing to do, they will discover nothing new and continue to produce static, unproductive models of mythical ontologies. Homo faber can best understand what he can create, but in order to understand nature man must learn to create and control the processes at work in nature. While Peirce, astronomer, mathematical physicist, and

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chemist, was concerned with cosmic evolution, James, physiological psychologist and humanist, was drawn to the trials and tribulations of the individual mind, perplexed by the complexity of environing forces and seeking the freedom to create a life worth living.

After much pondering over metaphysical and theological arguments --- especially influenced by R. H. Lotze, Charles Renouvier, and Jules Lequier --- James offered his "will to believe" as a solution to the age-old problem of the freedom of the will. Wright's early influence on James's thought here had been twofold. First, Wright followed Kant's and Mill's antimetaphysical views that absolute freedom of a disembodied will was beyond logical or empirical proof, but held that a practical justification for the belief in free will was to be sought in the moral benefits of holding the self responsible for the knowable empirical consequences of one's deliberate actions. James agreed with Wright's empirical approach, and explored the psychological and physiological experimental facts that might throw light on the force of instincts, habits, and association of ideas resulting from previous sensations, and on the Will, in various chapters of the Principles of Psychology but emerged with a negative result. The last chapter ("Necessary Truths and the Effects of Experience") concluded that the scientific study of the human mind yielded no decisive idea about the precise relation of bodily behavior to states and acts of consciousness, and thus left James with the "dilemma of determinism."

In his paper bearing this title, James distinguished "soft" from "hard" determinism. The "hard" determinist (James preferred to deal with persons rather than with doctrines) was one who denied absolutely that any act was "free" from complete determination by strict causation, so that freedom of the will was simply an illusion due to ignorance of the causes behind one's actions and decisions. The "soft" determinist was less of a pessimist by admitting the impossibility of knowing all the determining causes of one's actions, and by affirming a positive knowledge only of the probable empirical consequences of choosing between equally determined alternatives. Soft determinism appealed to James as more in harmony with the common-sense belief in the freedom to make some practical, moral, and religious decisions. The will to believe might then help release untapped energies.

Furthermore, there are occasions when one is confronted empirically by what James called "genuine, live, momentous, and forced options" with vital consequences foreseeable with some degree of probability as one chooses on the basis of previous experience and present feeling among two or more apparent alternatives. And there are many human situations when all the scientifically foreseeable consequences are so equally balanced between two alternatives that there is no decisive preponderance of evidence in favor of one over the other. Wright would have argued that scientific evidence is neutral with regard to moral decisions about ultimate valuations, and --- as the mathematician W. K. Clifford later advocated --- would suspend judgment if there were no further evidence to favor one alternative as more useful, socially or individually, than another. At this point William James departed from Wright's negative neutrality and Clifford's paralyzing suspension of judgment, because for James action is demanded in genuine, live, momentous, and forced options, and because it is absurd to expect human beings to suspend their natural inclinations indefinitely.

The criticisms made by both Chauncey Wright and C. S. Peirce did affect James's doctrine of "the will to believe" to the extent that James was led to laying down a condition for the application of his doctrine, namely, that no belief was to be accepted as true if it went contrary to available evidence. In other words, the appeal to the emotional willingness to believe was, in James's critical judgment, applicable and relevant only when all the available evidence for and against a possible decision or action was equally balanced or indecisive. James's position is saved from the charge of "mere" subjectivism by his adherence to this condition, although at times it seems as though he ignored it, especially when he insists that the very desire to act in the direction of one's natural inclinations is part of the objective situation. Such insistence on the objective status of emotional factors is not surprising for a philosopher who had devoted so many years to the scientific study of psychology. The famous "JamesLange theory of the emotions" is a forerunner of the objective approach of behaviorists. We tremble not because we are afraid, but we are afraid because we tremble. James was not an extreme behaviorist; he would not dismiss or reduce to physical symptoms the immediate experience of conscious states or the effects of subconscious forces. He was willing to adopt the dual language of physiological and introspective methods of psychologizing. With G. Stanley Hall, he early recognized the importance of Freud's ideas.

Later criticisms of the James-Lange theory of emotions by W. B. Cannon and other psychologists show that James oversimplified the physiological conditions by referring only to visceral and muscular states. While James would have welcomed further knowledge and physiological research on glandular, neurological, and psychoanalytical conditions of emotional responses, he would still have left open the question whether conscious voluntary effort (such as the "will to believe"

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entails) is not also a possible cause for producing emotions that can be beneficial to the human organism. Like Freud, who accepted analysis of a patient's history, while awaiting physiological details, William James accepted introspective reports as equally important as behavioral data. His sympathy for Freud's approach was similar to the way in which he opened his mind to philosophical arguments for free will by the neo-Kantians Renouvier and Lotze, and even by the more mystical views of Lequier and Henri Bergson.

Although James died (1910) before the appearance of Bergson's  Two Sources of Morals and Religion (Paris, 1932; London, 1935), he would have approved Bergson's defense of the "open" as against the mechanistically "closed" world as well as his sympathetic account of the Christian mystics. Bergson's "creative evolution" and dynamic spiritualism were not alien to James's own pluralistic and open-ended world view and interest in the varieties of religious experience. For James could argue passionately for pluralistic, democratic individualism and at the same time feel deeply the self's need for spiritual unity. The many kinds of "self" (material, social, moral, and spiritual) which he analyzed in his Principles of Psychology were not simply Hume's "bundles of habits" and atomistic sensations; they were the varied organic forms and directions of the stream of consciousness of an organism striving not only to survive but to create meaning and value in its finite existence. James's pragmatism was as unfinished as his open universe. He died knowing that he had not solved the eternal enigmas of the relationship of the Many to the One, of the Material to the Spiritual. In his own romantic way he had found spiritual excitement in the quest for truths which are practically unattainable with either certainty or final satisfaction, but worth pursuing if only for the glimpses of their transcendent, elusive values.


James's democratic temper and tender-minded sensitivity to human suffering and political injustice were clearly evidenced in his attack on the curse of bigness in the rapid growth of America's giant monopolistic industries, on the military expansion in the Philippines and Latin America, and the growing agnosticism and cynicism. It is, therefore, surprising to note that some European thinkers referred to James's emphasis on feeling and action in their own violently antidemocratic programs of political action. For example, Mussolini, in his socialistic days, said that he admired James's philosophy though there is no evidence that he had ever read or understood it. Giovanni Papini, an enthusiastic supporter of a "magical pragmatism," had been hailed earlier by James as a leader of the pragmatic writers of articles in Leonardo, the philosophical journal founded by Papini in 1903.

Although Papini had said that it was impossible to give a unique and precise definition of pragmatism, he offered to indicate "... the dominant feature which forms the internal unity of all the various elements that go together under the mantle of its name" (... il carattere dominante che forma l'unità  interna di tutti i vari elementi che vanno riuniti sotto il mantello del suo nome) namely, "the plasticity or flexibility of theories and beliefs, that is, the recognition of their purely instrumental value;... their value being only relative to an end or group of ends which are susceptible to being changed, varied, and transformed when needed" (Papini's emphases, Pragmatismo, p. 91).

The elements united thus by Papini turn out to be more Jamesian than Peircean, more romantic and "magical" than classical and realistic. He enumerates six such component ideas: (1) nominalism, (2)  utilitarianism, (3)  positivism (antimetaphysical scientific method), (4) kantianism (emphasis on the "practical reason" of the free will), (5) voluntarism of a Schopenhauerian sort (ontological priority of the will over science), (6)  fideism or Pascalian apologetics aimed at restoring religious faiths. Papini adds that different emphases and combinations of these elements go to make up the "variety of pragmatism" (ibid., p. 92), but he lumps Peirce and James together as emphasizing in the theory of meaning the  particular consequences of ideas in future  practical experiences, thus ignoring the criticism of nominalism by Peirce (ibid., p. 93).

Papini's "magical" pragmatism owes the adjective to his own emphasis on the personal power of ideas to transform what we experience by a romantic activity of the "imitative" imagination. He leans heavily on James's notion that " faith in a fact can help create the fact" (quoted with emphases by Papini, ibid., p. 145). He agrees also with James's statement in "The Sentiment of Rationality" (Will to Believe, pp. 63-110), that truths cannot become true till our faith has made them so" (ibid., p. 96). The confusion between meaning and truth remains a common feature of James's and Papini's versions of pragmatism. Papini found James' Will to Believe "among the most exciting and fruitful theories of contemporary thought" (Papini, p. 153), but regretted that in James "there is no trace of the belief in  magical powers, that is to say, in the possibility that certain men have the power to change by their will external things and natural phenomena; for James restricted this power to internal psychological reality" (Papini's emphasis, ibid., p. 151).

An interesting brief chapter of Papini's book is entitled "Il Pragmatismo e i parti politici" ("Pragmatism and Political Parties," written in 1905), in which

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the eight Italian political parties of his day (Catholic, Conservative, Liberal, Radical, Republican, Socialist, Democratic, and Anarchist) are taken to task for using common locutions but acting differently. They all talk of aiming at Italy's unity, freedom, prosperity but pragmatically these terms must have as many different meanings as the various means or actions that are specifically proposed and pursued by each party's leaders. On this point, Dewey, Mead, and Hook would surely agree with Papini in applying the instrumentalist interpretation of social and political programs as no better than possible hypotheses. But the American pragmatists would also reject Papini's resort to an antimodernistic and mystical Catholicism, a far cry from his initial subjective pragmatism.

Although Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936) was not a professional philosopher, his many plays, translated in many languages and successfully performed in many countries in the 1920's and 1930's, almost always contain a Protagorean relativism with respect to truth and values. The conversations of Pirandello's characters reflect the version of the subjective relativism in the pragmatism made current in Italy by Papini's personalism and Mario Calderoni's "corridor theory" of truth. Pirandello himself disavowed any philosophical content in his plays:

In Italy people seem to be intent on following the misleading line (la falsariga) of some critic who believed he discovered a philosophical content in my things that isn't there (un contenuto filosofico che non c'è), I guarantee its non-existence.
(quoted in L. Pirandello, ed. C. Simioni, p. xxvii; trans. P. P. Wiener).

Yet there was a stormy, philosophical controversy over so-called Pirandellism; Pirandello's relativism was criticized by followers of Benedetto Croce, Italy's dominating metaphysician of the absolutistic Hegelian type against which the  Leonardo group led by Papini, had led a rebellion in the first decade of the century. Croce had himself accepted Adriano Tilgher's (one of Croce's epigoni's) dialectical analysis of "the central problem" of Pirandello's art, viz., the antithesis of Life and Form (A. Tilgher, Teoria della critica d'arte, 1913). A. Gramsci, on the other hand, suggested that Pirandello was merely displaying his satirical sense of humor, by creating "philosophical" and nasty doubts about truth and goodness in order to flaunt subjectivism and philosophical solipsism (ibid., p. xxviii).

The most extreme form of this abuse of James's notion of the usefulness of ideas as adaptive means of action is the theory of the syndicalist Georges Sorel in his Réflexions sur la violence (Paris, 1908); in what he took to be a pragmatic justification of using the weapon of a general strike to bring about the revolutionary overthrow of the existing capitalistic system, Sorel argued as follows: "The myth must be judged as a means of acting on the present; any attempt to discuss how far it can be taken literally as future history is devoid of sense.... The question whether the general strike is a partial reality, or only a product of popular imagination, is of little importance." Thanks to revolutionary leaders, "we know that the general strike is indeed what I have said: the myth in which Socialism is wholly comprised, i.e., a body of images capable of evoking instinctively all the sentiments which correspond to the different manifestations of the war undertaken by Socialism against modern society. Strikes have engendered in the proletariat the noblest, deepest, and most moving sentiments that they possess..." (pp. 360-61).

Sorel's pragmatic conclusion to his peculiar "scientific ethics" and revolutionary myth of the general strike, reveals the missionary zeal of the syndicalist's hopes: "It is to violence that Socialism owes those high ethical values by means of which it brings salvation to the modern world" (ibid., p. 365). This variety of revolutionary pragmatism --- surely on the extreme fringe of the solid core of pragmatism --- makes a dangerous appeal to men's instincts and to irrational disregard of the consequences of the means employed. Sorel's appeal to violence, so common to extreme militants of both fascistic and communistic camps, is certainly confuted by our core pragmatists who are concerned as reformers about the human effects or social consequences of resort to violence which so often breeds greater violence. Sorel owes some of his ideas, especially the appeal to instinctive drives, to Bergson's élan vital and emphasis on action, although Bergson never advocated violence, and preferred the mystical road to salvation.

Further illustration of the rich variety to which pragmatism lends itself, within the French group of pragmatic thinkers as well as among other nationalities, is provided by the dispute between Abel Rey and Pierre Duhem on the philosophical foundations of physical theory. Professor Rey defended an antimetaphysical, positivistic principle of verifiability against Duhem's attempt to weld experimental physics to a neo-Thomistic theory of knowledge and reality. Duhem was perfectly willing and even anxious to have physical science aim at convenient theories that "save the appearances," provided however, that the structure of physical theories reflected the overarching ultimate nature of the supernatural invisible reality of God. Abel Rey, of course, dismissed such theological overtones as irrelevant to the aims and structure of physical theory.

A French fascist, Drieu La Rochelle, in 1927, took

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pride in his epistemological "pragmatism" which to him meant that "knowledge is the product only of experience," that is, of personal experience, as Robert Soucy explains in his article on "Romanticism and Realism in the Fascism of Drieu La Rochelle," in the Journal of the History of Ideas (31 [Jan. 1970], 78 and notes 30, 31). Truth had to be "lived," thus La Rochelle espoused "a kind of fascist existentialism" without knowing anything of existentialist philosophy (ibid.).

Bergson's form of pragmatism only tenuously merits that label (which he did not adopt for his philosophy); his metaphysical and spiritualistic theory of action bears all the marks of the fin-de-sièle anti-scientisme which appears in his criticism of the analytical, conceptual, abstract, and static modes of scientific understanding. The flux of immediate experience (les données immédiates de la conscience, the subject of his dissertation) could not be grasped by the abstract intellect but required an immersion in the real moving duration (durée) of the vital impulse (élan vital) which surges through the dynamic universe. William James was greatly impressed and awed by the imaginative sweep and psychological insights of Bergson's ardent defense of concrete intuitive data of consciousness so similar to James's "stream of consciousness." Bergson's Creative Evolution (1907) was Lamarckian, however, and was not compatible with James's defense of August Weismann's refutation of the Lamarckian theory of the inheritance of acquired characters. Despite their many differences, the kinship of Bergson's and James's pragmatic philosophies is based on their common concern to transcend static, impersonal conceptual analysis and to make of man's active, dynamic, emotional nature the source of a creative moral and spiritual order. This aim was a far cry from Sorel's appeal to the myth of a violent class war on the Marxist ground of historical materialism, but the dynamism is there, and the existentialists claim Bergson as one of their own.

Sorel, in his work on the Utility of Pragmatism (De l'utilité du pragmatisme, 1917), during World War I and nine years after his Réflexions sur la violence, hoped "to convince readers of this book that the pragmatic manner of considering the pursuit of truth is bound to become one of the essential elements of modern thought" (Sorel [1908], p. 4). He noted that Peirce in his 1878 essay, "How to Make Our Ideas Clear," had said that Catholics and Protestants ought not be concerned about the idea of transubstantiation so long as they agree on the effects on moral conduct of the real Presence. He noted also that édouard Le Roy (1870-1954), the Bergsonian physicist, interpreted Catholic dogmas in Peircean fashion when Le Roy maintained that these "dogmas would impose strict rules of conduct on the faithful, but would leave a great deal of freedom for the intellectual representation of things" (ibid., pp. 5-6, with reference to Le Roy's Dogme et critique, pp. 19-23, 32). To Peirce, of course, "conduct" referred to "conduct of the mind," whereas James broadened the scope of the term to include, and indeed to emphasize, moral and religious behavior.

Sorel defended James's idea of the "will to believe" against the critics who misinterpreted it to mean "the will to make-believe" or to indulge in wishful thinking. Sorel also took to task those critics who had picked on James's phrase "cash value of an idea" as a reflection of Yankee commercialism. Against this gross and yet common European misinterpretation of James's lively rhetorical way of discussing epistemological theories of truth, Sorel as a political thinker and Marxist, looked with favor upon James's condemnation of undemocratic State authority and of an infallible Church that imposed its dogmas upon its members.

Sorel's brand of pragmatism was critical of Bergson's spiritualism, although Bergson shared with him an admiration for William James's break away from traditional, eternalistic metaphysics. What further distinguishes Sorel's from Bergson's pragmatic ideas is Sorel's unwavering confidence in the certainty of scientific knowledge and of historical materialism. He could find no value in Bergson's vitalism, antiscientific intuition, and religious mysticism. He did, however, praise Bergson's theory of intelligence as "the faculty of manufacturing artificial objects, especially tools for making tools, and for varying their manufacture indefinitely" (quoted by Sorel from Bergson's L'évolution créatrice, p. 151).

Sorel's revolutionary, syndicalist brand of pragmatism appealed strongly to Mussolini and the fascists. Of course, the very different varieties of pragmatism of James, Peirce, Mead, and Dewey can hardly be held responsible for either the Marxist or fascist interpretations of James. The very opposite defence of liberal democracy is at the cultural base of the American, British, Italian (pre-Mussolini), German (H. Vaihinger), and French varieties of pragmatism.

Communistic ideologists have criticized pragmatism as a bourgeois capitalistic doctrine of American imperialism despite James's attacks on big business and American policies in the Philippines, Cuba, and Venezuela. At the same time communist philosophers urge the union of theory and practice in very narrowly practical terms. "Praxis" occurs often in their theory of truth; it is the title of a philosophical periodical in Yugoslavia, edited by more liberal Marxists than in the USSR or Red China. So long as philosophy is chiefly an ideological tool among communist theoreticians, it is subject to modification by the leaders of the party or state. Thus Soviet philosophy becomes instrumental

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in the worst opportunistic sense, the polar opposite of Dewey's instrumentalism and Peirce's pragmaticism or of any of the other liberal varieties of pragmatism, so crudely regarded by its critics as advocating crass opportunism with respect to truth and human values.

For the social and political forms of pragmatism, more moderate or liberal than Sorel's or other Marxist versions of praxis, we must turn to the legal writings of philosophers like Vaihinger, and the American pragmatic realists.

In the years 1876 to 1878, while Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was preparing the chapters of his work The Common Law, the Kantian commentator Hans Vaihinger was writing a pragmatic masterpiece, Die Philosophie des Als Ob. It was not published until 1911, and not translated into English until 1924. The legal philosopher, Lon L. Fuller, has devoted the last third of his work on Legal Fictions to explaining the contribution to legal thinking made by Vaihinger's "as if" philosophy. Though conceived independently, Vaihinger's pragmatic philosophy is similar to James's and Holmes's views in showing how the mind tends to project or reify its own conceptual constructions, which are primarily evolutionary means of adaptation to a changing world. Whatever and whenever such adaptive ideas serve to help us confront reality, they are regarded  as if they were real properties. Perhaps Vaihinger may be considered "more pragmatic than the American school because... he has obtained his generalizations about human thinking, not by deduction from some premise concerning the nature of thought in general, but from an examination of the ways and byways of thought in particular sciences" (Fuller [1967], p. 96). These sciences range from the mathematical to the legal. "Imaginary numbers" (roots of negative numbers) can be treated as if they were quantitative properties of electromagnetic fields. The fictive "personality" of a corporation is regarded by the courts as if it were a person subject to specific laws of liability, bankruptcy, and so forth. In short, "Vaihinger taught German legal science how to use its own intellectual tools" (ibid.).


Three of the members of the Metaphysical Club at Harvard in the 1870's, where Peirce claimed "pragmatism saw the light of day," were concerned, as students, practitioners, or teachers of law, with the cultural evolution and philosophical foundations of the law. They were Nicholas St. John Green (the "grandfather of pragmatism" who followed A. Bain's idea of belief as a disposition to act), Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (busily editing the twelfth edition of Kent's  Commentaries on the American Law, 4 vols.), and Joseph B. Warner (future lecturer in the Harvard Law School, 1886-87, and who in 1896 before the American Bar Association gave an address on "The Responsibilities of the Lawyer"). A fourth law student, John Fiske, who occasionally came to the Metaphysical Club, turned from law to history. He was a disciple of Comte and Spencer and wrote a four-volume survey,  Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy (1874), developing an evolutionary philosophy of civilization along Spencerian lines.

The law schools were steeped in classical syllogistic methods of applying the law to individual cases as previously decided and in the Hobbesian-Austinian view that the law was "the command of the sovereign." The Lockean view of the social contract was mingled with the Puritan idea of the Covenant with God. Sir Henry Maine's Ancient Law (1861) and  History of Early Institutions (1875) were reviewed by Chauncey Wright in the Nation (July 1, 1875) after he had previously remarked: "In the Law School there is a vigor of thought and a stimulus to study which can't be found elsewhere" (Wiener, p. 272). Maine's work emphasized the evolution of the law as paralleling the evolution of society from slavery and feudalism to modern free enterprise: "from status to contract." A similar emphasis on historical development as an essential key to understanding the cultural role and evolution of the law was the prominent feature of Holmes's great work The Common Law (1881):

The felt necessities of the time, the prevalent moral and political theories, intuitions of public policy, avowed or unconscious; even the prejudices which judges share with their fellow-men have had a good deal more to do than the syllogism in determining the rules by which men should be governed. The law embodies the story of a nation's development through many centuries, and it cannot be dealt with as if it contained only the axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics. In order to know what it is, we must know what it has been, and what it tends to become. We must alternately consult history and existing theories of legislation. But the most difficult labor will be to understand the combination of the two into new products at every stage. The substance of the law at any given time pretty nearly corresponds, so far as it goes, with what is then understood to be convenient; but its form and machinery and the degree to which it is able to work out desired results, depend very much upon its past.
(Holmes, p. 1).

Holmes illustrated his evolutionary and pragmatic approach by tracing the change from the primitive basis of revenge in the punishment of criminals to the more pragmatic justification of deterring future crimes. In civil cases, Holmes explained, the evolution of the laws of liability is shaped mainly by "considerations of what is expedient for the community concerned" (ibid., pp. 15, 35).

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A progressive combination, and at times radical application, of British empiricism and utilitarian ethics was deployed by the American legal pragmatists against the metaphysical idealism of the German romantic variety that had come to the United States in the Hegelian school (mentioned above) of W. T. Harris in St. Louis, where the Journal of Speculative Philosophy was launched in 1868. The upshot of pragmatic jurisprudence was the dissociation of the law from its scholastic accretions of eternal theological standards and imputations of original sin and hell-fire for the nonconformist and iconoclast. The criminal law with its medieval system of punishment and torture "for the good of one's soul" was subjected to unsparing criticism by Nicholas St. John Green (1830-76) in his Essays and Notes on the Law of Tort and Crime (published in 1933). He insisted on an historical approach in his projected annual publication of criminal law reports and cases in both the United States and the British Empire. Before Green's death he had completed the editing and annotation of the first two volumes (1874-75) of this bold venture in historical jurisprudence. Peirce showed the influence of Green's analytical use of legal history when he pointed out, as Green had in the  American Law Review (4 [Jan., 1870], 201), that key terms like "proximate cause" could not simply be transferred from Aristotelian physics to the laws of liability. "The idea of making the payment of considerable damages dependent on a term of Aristotelian logic or metaphysics is most shocking to any student of these subjects, and well illustrates the value of Pragmatism" (C. S. Peirce, "Proximate Cause and Effect,"  Baldwin's Dictionary of Philosophy). "Proximate cause" in civil law has to do with the negligence of a party with respect to the legal rights of others and nothing to do with spatiotemporal contiguity or a mechanical chain of causes. Rights and liabilities are determined by the civil law in the case of property damages which can even be inflicted at a distance, e.g., by hiring others to commit arson.

Green's influence on the shaping of legal pragmatism is not as well known as that of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (Wiener, pp. 164ff.). Common to their legal philosophies were: (1) a behavioristic method of determining intention by regarding an act "as a voluntary muscular contraction and nothing else" (Holmes, American Law Review, 14, 9) or consisting "as such of inward feelings and outward motions, the motions forming the evidence of the feelings" (Green, Essays and Notes, p. 192); (2) the irrelevance of the internal phenomena of conscience (Holmes, Common Law, pp. 62, 110; Green, Essays and Notes, p. 67); (3) the primacy of public policy over individual idiosyncrasies. Holmes applied a tough-minded principle of interpreting the law by the external standard of the consequences for public policy as set by the legislature, regardless of the private feelings or moral ideals that might be affected. The rule of eminent domain might seem harsh to a property owner not compensated with as much as he thinks "just," but the public interest must prevail, if the community or state budget is too limited to award more compensation. The right of free speech must be limited in time of war, or denied to a mischievous person crying "Fire" in a crowded theater. But the same right must be rigorously protected against self-appointed censors of public morality, because (as John Stuart Mill had shown in his Essay on Liberty) in the long run the harm to the public will be greater if ideas are suppressed than if some allegedly harmful or "immoral" ones are tolerated. The test of how good or bad a new law is becomes a matter of predicting the social consequences or public effects of enacting and enforcing the proposed law. Since every judicial decision as to how the acts of the legislature should be interpreted or applied may modify the meaning of the law, Holmes argued that judges make the law as much as the legislature. The constitution of 1789 is not the same as that of 1865 or of 1965, not simply because amendments have been added, but because both the original articles and amendments have been interpreted differently by judges at various times in new cases having aspects unforeseen by the original makers of the law. Holmes's predictive theory of the law was offered as advice to lawyers in doubt about the meaning or applicability of a law. Holmes's counsel amounted to the rule that the law in any particular case would mean what one could predict the judges would decide in that case. Such predictions would vary with the temperament, education, prejudices, or mood of the judges. Obviously, however, this predictive theory will not help a judge who is pondering over what he should decide, for it is tautologous to state that the law will be or mean what he will decide. Holmes's realistic dictum that the law is what the courts will predictably decide also runs afoul of legislation that aims at curbing the latitude of judicial freedom. Hence, the pragmatist is faced with the practical questions of social and political values, and criteria for judging them, in a rapidly changing society.


One common feature of all the varieties of pragmatism is the idea or "the premise that valuation is a form of empirical knowledge" (C. I. Lewis, Preface, p. vii). However, the diversified range of empirical theories of knowledge, due largely to the blurred and indefinite boundaries of "experience," leaves the idea

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rather vague and the premiss hardly unequivocal. For example, James's  Varieties of Religious Experience does not exclude revelations of the supernatural, and Peirce includes purely logical and mathematical reasoning as forms of "diagramatic experimentation." In ethical theory, pragmatists will be either "emotivists" (following Wright, James, F. C. S. Schiller), or "cognitivists" (following Dewey, Mead, or C. I. Lewis). Outside this variety of pragmatic theories of value --- and we must specify the type or theories of value that are excluded from the "pragmatic" if this term is to have any identifiable meaning --- we can point to a priori or transcendental ideas of the summum bonum which can only be known by pure reason, by political or theological authority, or by a transcendental inner conscience or Ego untouched by common experience, and in any case, claiming moral jurisdiction not subject to any appeal to public verification.

William James, F. C. S. Schiller, and Luigi Pirandello (the latter not as a systematic philosopher, of course, but as illustrated in his play,  Six Characters in Search of an Author) based their pragmatic humanism on the relativism of knowledge and values. On the other hand, C. I. Lewis aimed to avoid "the errors of Protagorean relativism or the moral skepticism which would destroy the normative by reducing it to merely emotive significance" (ibid., p. viii). Pragmatic ethics, for C. I. Lewis, is concerned with the nature of justice, and we have seen that legal pragmatists like Holmes always insisted on applying the "external standard" of social expediency in determining what the law considers "just."

Whether there is a "higher law" above what the law courts decide is "right" depends on whether we can appeal to a more general idea of the good or summum bonum that subsumes or overrides the legal idea. While it is not difficult to understand the social nature of justice in the sense of what is considered legally right or correct, it requires much more argument to accept a pragmatic criterion of public verification for the more general theory of values. But that is the kind of criterion that Peirce, Dewey, G. H. Mead, and C. I. Lewis have defended against the emotivists and the apriorists.

The verifiability theory of knowledge is shared by the core pragmatists (Peirce, James, Dewey, C. I. Lewis, and their followers) and logical empiricists (M. Schlick, R. Carnap, A. J. Ayer, and their followers) but the two schools of thought differ basically on whether value judgments are verifiable. The pragmatists affirm the idea that value judgments are verifiable to the extent that such judgments are implicit hypotheses about what is valued as desirable or enjoyable. Hypotheses, as possible truths about what objects or activities will satisfy desires or yield the enjoyments anticipated, have logical consequences that will either be falsified or verified by future experiences of such objects or activities. This view of value judgments as verifiable hypotheses is known as the "cognitivist" view. It is opposed to the "emotivist" view of those logical empiricists and others who regard value judgments as expressions of personal taste, feeling, or preference without any reference to knowledge claims. John Dewey and C. I. Lewis and their pragmatistic followers have criticized the "emotivist" view by showing how ideas, reflection, and knowledge of the consequences of actions modify emotional responses and behavior. For example, knowing that some mushrooms are poisonous will lead even a hungry person to desist from eating them until he learns to distinguish them from a nonpoisonous variety. In aesthetics, the art critic and connoisseur of music, by informed comments on the art object or musical score, the artist's or composer's, conductor's, or performer's techniques, can call attention to aspects of the works contemplated which would be overlooked or ignored by the uninformed spectator or listener, and thus enhance his enjoyment. "By their fruits, ye shall know them" was Peirce's epitome of the pragmatic logic of ethical judgments. Dewey's pragmatic analysis of aesthetic judgment in his  Art as Experience (1934) applied a similar maxim to criticisms of works of art. William James in his Varieties of Religious Experience (Gifford Lectures, 1902) applied the same pragmatic justification of religious beliefs of all creeds whenever he saw evidence of their effects on transforming the lives of believers.

The general theory of values comprehends not only the legal and ethical ideas of "right" and "good" but also the logical grounds of aesthetic judgment, thus pursuing in greater detail the analysis of the ancient ideals of the true, the good, and the beautiful. Peirce had gone so far in his addiction to the romantic idealism of Friedrich Schiller and Schelling as to argue that logical theory rested ultimately on ethics because logic aims to determine what sort of reasoning we ought to adopt in conducting our inquiries into truth, and ethics is the science of what we ought to do. Moreover, what we ought to do ultimately depends on what goals we desire to achieve, and what is desirable in the end is a question of aesthetic judgment. Peirce, however, cannot offer any criterion of what would constitute a reasonable basis for aesthetic judgment, although he defends reasonableness as the ultimate end of all existence. If logic determines what is "reasonable," we are back to where we started in Peirce's hierarchical triad of logic, ethics, and aesthetics.

There is a more fruitful development of the pragmatic logic of valuation in Dewey, C. I. Lewis, and their followers by assuming that our value judgments

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are essentially hypotheses or tentative claims to knowing what is good or bad, either for an individual or for a society.

By assuming that value judgments are hypotheses, we make them subject to verification by individual or public experience. There seems to be for Dewey and for Mead no absolute demarcation between "private" and "public" experience, but all verification is or should be "intersubjective," i.e., common to and communicable by all persons capable of testing an idea of what is proposed as "good" by their past, present, and anticipated future experiences and feelings of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. By regarding all value judgments as tentative, while being tested or verified, we make it possible to modify the claims on our approbation or disapprobation implicit in the value judgment. The modification after verification may range from complete rejection to some compromise or adjustment, but always with the reservation that further experience may make it necessary to reappraise the situation.

Dewey continually emphasizes the need for facing the peculiar complexities of each specific situation, the problematic and indeterminate nature of each initial stage of valuation, and the tentative character of any solution or resolution resulting from publicly testing our value judgments. Dewey had the temerity to attempt to apply his pragmatic instrumentalism to the complex psychological and social problems of education (in the experimental schools of Chicago in 1902, with George Herbert Mead), to the analysis of the turbulent scene of political revolutions in Russia, China, and Mexico, and in trying to form a third party in the United States during the depression in the 1930's, in combatting fascism and communism in the 1940's, and finally in grappling with the momentous issues of war and peace. Like James, Dewey argued for channeling the aggressive impulses of men towards combatting the common enemies of mankind: ignorance, poverty, disease, and injustice. A liberal democracy for Dewey is a social order that can be achieved in a common faith by uniting thought and action against political, economic, and social injustice.

Peirce's tychism and fallibilism, James's soft determinism, O. W. Holmes's "bet-abilitarianism," and Dewey's instrumentalism are sharply opposed to the economic determinism associated with Marxian dialectical necessity and historical materialism. Only a simplistic fallacy would link the social liberalism of these pragmatists to the totalitarianism of Marxian determinists. The fallacy consists in linking these very different views by finding a common feature in the fact that the pragmatists and Marxian determinists were both opposed to "formalism." To state that individualists like Justice O. W. Holmes, Thorstein Veblen, Charles Beard, James Harvey Robinson, and John Dewey were "all products of the historical and cultural emphases of the nineteenth century" (Morton G. White, quoted by Thayer, p. 444) is to minimize their role as shapers of nineteenth- and twentieth-century thought in the United States.

In the field of aesthetics, Peirce regarded Friedrich Schiller's  Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Mankind (1794-95) as one of the first philosophical influences on his own intellectual development, and regarded the play element, to which Schiller attributed so much educational value, as a major factor in art and even in religious contemplation. (See Peirce's essay on "A Neglected Argument for the Existence of God" [ Hibbert Journal, 7 (1908), 90-112] in which "musement" over the order and beauty in nature leads by a play of ideas to the idea of a divine being.)

The more detailed problems of artistic and literary criticism are treated pragmatically by Dewey in Art as Experience (1934), and by Stephen C. Pepper in Aesthetic Quality: A Contextualistic Theory of Beauty (1937). The common basis again of pragmatic criticism in aesthetics is that aesthetic judgments should not be based on fixed a priori ideas of classical or avant-garde models but on experimenting with every possible means or media for communicating the subtle nuances of feeling and meanings that elude the ordinary means of expression.

Knowledge and feeling, meaning and action, are organically fused in aesthetic experience and artistic creation, which finally exemplify in the most immediately enjoyable sense the pragmatic notion that knowledge can and should be instrumental to the enhancement of human values. In both the appreciation and creation of art, Dewey's pragmatism appeals to the possibilities of greater public participation than the elitist conception of art displayed in art galleries with a "holier-than-thou" aloofness. Against such an esoteric sanctuary for the arts, but without denying the artist's need for complete freedom to experiment, Dewey's pragmatic view aims to extend the field of artistic experimentation to every human from early childhood to adult life at home, in the schools, in the community and world. Knowledge of the history and problems of artistic creation can help improve our understanding of artistic values, and such understanding can also help refine our taste and make us more sensitive to the values that creative intelligence can elicit from the untapped potential capabilities of human nature. The realization of all values for Dewey is inseparable from his faith in the unlimited possibilities of a liberal civilization based on social and economic justice as well as on political democracy. Both intelligence and action --- neither subordinated to the other --- become creative instruments for the realization of these values in Dewey's experimentalist version of pragmatism.

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A very full historical account of pragmatism with a comprehensive bibliography is H. S. Thayer's Meaning and Action: A Critical History of Pragmatism (Indianapolis and New York, 1968). A. J. Ayer, The Origins of Pragmatism (San Francisco, 1968) is less historical and mostly critical of James and Peirce. Alexander Bain, The Emotions and the Will (Edinburgh, 1859). P. W. Bridgman, The Logic of Modern Physics (New York, 1927). Mario Calderoni, I postulati della scienza positiva ed il diritto penale (Florence, 1901); idem, Scritti, ed. O. Campa, 2 vols. (Florence, 1924). P. Duhem, La théorie physique --- son objet et sa structure, 2nd ed. (Paris, 1914), trans. P. P. Wiener as The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory (Princeton, 1954). John Dewey, "The Development of American Pragmatism," Studies in the History of Ideas, 3 vols. (New York, 1925), II, 353-77, repr. in Philosophy and Civilization (New York, 1931); idem, "The Pragmatism of Peirce," Supplementary Essay to Chance, Love and Logic, Philosophical Essays by the Late Charles S. Peirce, edited with Introduction by Morris R. Cohen (New York, 1923). The Philosophy of John Dewey, ed. P. A. Schilpp (Evanston, 1939). Southern Illinois University Press has been publishing a definitive edition of Dewey's works. Lon L. Fuller, Legal Fictions (Stanford, 1967). Nicholas St. John Green, Essays and Notes on the Law of Tort and Crime (Menasha, Wisc., 1933). G. Gullace, "The Pragmatist Movement in Italy," Journal of the History of Ideas, 23 (1962), 91-105. O. W. Holmes, Jr.,  The Common Law (Boston, 1881). Sidney Hook,  The Metaphysics of Pragmatism (Chicago, 1927). Roman Jakobson, "Language in Relation to Other Communication Systems," Linguaggi nella società  e nella tecnica (Milan, 1970), pp. 3-16; see also Y. Bar-Hillel, "Communication and Argumentation in Pragmatic Languages," ibid., pp. 269-84. William James, The Principles of Psychology, 2 vols. (New York, 1890); idem,  The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy (New York, 1897); idem, The Varieties of Religious Experience (New York and London, 1902); idem,  Pragmatism, A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking (New York, 1907). C. I. Lewis, An Analysis of Knowledge and Valuation (La Salle, Ill., 1946). Karl N. Llewellyn,  Jurisprudence: Realism in Theory and Practice (Chicago, 1962). Arthur O. Lovejoy, The Thirteen Pragmatisms (Baltimore, 1965; reprint of his articles in the  Journal of Philosophy of 1908). George H. Mead,  Mind, Self, and Society: From the Standpoint of a Social Behaviorist, ed. with introduction by Charles W. Morris (Chicago, 1934), bibliography in pp. 390-92; see also Maurice Natanson,  The Social Dynamics of George H. Mead (Washington, D.C., 1956); Charles Morris, The Pragmatic Movement in American Philosophy (New York, 1970); John W. Petras, ed., George Herbert Mead: Essays on His Social Philosophy (New York, 1968). R. Mondolfo, "Trabajo manual y trabajo intellectual desde la antigüedad hasta el renacimiento," Revista de la Historia de las Ideas, 1 (1950), 5-26. Ernest Nagel,  Principles of the Theory of Probability (Chicago, 1939); idem, Logic Without Metaphysics (Glencoe, Ill., 1956); idem, The Structure of Science (New York, 1961). G. Papini, Pragmatismo 1903-1911 (Milan, 1913; 3rd ed., Florence, 1927); idem, Crepùscolo dei Filosofi (Florence, 1925). Charles S. Peirce, Collected Papers, Vols. 1-6, ed. C. Hartshorne and P. Weiss; Vols. 7-8, ed. A. W. Burks (Cambridge, Mass., 1931-58). Transactions of the Peirce Society is a quarterly edited and published by University of Massachusetts Press and contains a supplementary list of Peirce's unpublished papers as well as articles on his philosophy. Max H. Fisch is preparing a biography of Peirce, a book to supplement Paul Weiss's valuable article in the  Dictionary of American Biography. L. Pirandello, La vita che ti diedi, Ciascuno a suo modo, ed. C. Simioni, with the chronology of Pirandello's life and times, an introduction and bibliography (Verona, 1970). Frank P. Ramsey, The Foundations of Mathematics (London, 1931). Francis E. Reilly,  Charles Peirce's Theory of Scientific Method (New York, 1970). George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 5 vols. (New York, 1905-06). A. Santucci, Il pragmatismo italiano (Bologna, 1963). F. C. S. Schiller, "William James and the Making of Pragmatism," Personalist, 8 (1927), 81-93. H. W. Schneider, A History of American Philosophy (New York, 1946). Georges Sorel, Réflexions sur la violence (Paris, 1908), trans. T. E. Hulme, Reflections on Violence (New York, 1920); idem, Les illusions du progrès (1908), trans. J. and C. 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