Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Philosophy A movement consisting of varying but associated theories, originally developed by Charles S. Peirce and William James and distinguished by the doctrine that the meaning of an idea or a proposition lies in its observable practical consequences.
  • n. A practical, matter-of-fact way of approaching or assessing situations or of solving problems.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The pursuit of practicality over aesthetic qualities; a concentration on facts rather than emotions or ideals.
  • n. The theory that political problems should be met with practical solutions rather than ideological ones.
  • n. The idea that beliefs are identified with the actions of a believer, and the truth of beliefs with success of those actions in securing a believer's goals; the doctrine that ideas must be looked at in terms of their practical effects and consequences.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality or state of being pragmatic; in literature, the pragmatic, or philosophical, method.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Pragmatical character or conduct; officiousness; busy impertinence.
  • n. In history, same as pragmatic method. See pragmatic, a.
  • n. In philosophy, a method of thought, a general movement or tendency of thought, and a specific school, in which stress is placed upon practical consequences and practical values as standards for explicating philosophic conceptions and as tests for determining their value and, especially, their truth.
  • n. A theory of the nature of truth, namely, that the correspondence between fact and idea which constitutes truth consists in the power of the idea in question to work satisfactorily, or to produce the results intended by it.
  • n. A metaphysical theory regarding the nature of reality, namely that it is still in process of making, and that human ideas and efforts play a fundamental rôle in its making: the equivalent of humanism as a metaphysical term.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (philosophy) the doctrine that practical consequences are the criteria of knowledge and meaning and value
  • n. the attribute of accepting the facts of life and favoring practicality and literal truth

Etymologies

From Ancient Greek stem of πρᾶγμα (pragma, "act") + -ism. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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