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Showing posts from March 15, 2010

The Perils and Promise of Obama's Pragmatism

Business Times - 16 Mar 2010


Taking the populist route would win him political points, but he'd rather do what's right

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

PRAGMATISM, the philosophical movement, assumes that the purpose of philosophy is to develop ideas that help us in practical ways. It has been called the American philosophy.

It's not only that this school of philosophy was founded by prominent American thinkers (CS Pierce, William James and John Dewey); more significantly, there is something in pragmatism's focus on what works, in its fusion of the practical and the philosophical, that reflects the 'just do it' elements of the American character.

European thinkers may be attracted to grandiose but unworkable - or sometimes - destructive ideas. Americans, on the other hand, are supposed to embrace ideas that were tested and seemed to work satisfactorily. Or, as the saying goes: 'The proof in the pudding.'

The quality, effectiveness or truth of some…