The Commens Dictionary

Quote from ‘Pragmatism’


… pragmatism is, in itself, no doctrine of metaphysics, no attempt to determine any truth of things. It is merely a method of ascertaining the meanings of hard words and of abstract concepts. All pragmatists of whatsoever stripe will cordially assent to that statement. As to the ulterior and indirect effects of practising the pragmatistic method, that is quite another affair.

All pragmatists will further agree that their method of ascertaining the meanings of words and concepts is no other than that experimental method by which all the successful sciences (in which number nobody in his senses would include metaphysics) have reached the degrees of certainty that are severally proper to them today; - this experimental method being itself nothing but a particular application of an older logical rule, ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’

EP 2:400-401
‘Pragmatism’ (pub. 22.04.13-19:05). Quote in M. Bergman & S. Paavola (Eds.), The Commens Dictionary: Peirce's Terms in His Own Words. New Edition. Retrieved from
Apr 22, 2013, 19:05 by Sami Paavola
Last revised: 
Jan 07, 2014, 00:57 by Commens Admin