Pragmatism and Rationalism Comparison Essay by experts

Pragmatism and Rationalism
This paper analyzes the concept of pragmatism by Charles Sanders Pierce and compares it with Descartes' notions of subjectivity.
# 7495 | 1,265 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Nov 03, 2003 in Philosophy (Logic) , Philosophy (History) , Philosophy (History - 19th Century)

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Charles Sanders Pierce is regarded as the father of Pragmatism. This paper sets this philosophy against the rationalistic and passive philosophy of Descartes. It describes how Pierce in his article "How To Make Our Ideas Clear" set out to clear the confusion about the notion of clear and distinct ideas in the traditional logic.

From the Paper:

"This principle comes from the notion of fixing belief as a habit of thinking that tends to provide a suitable guide to action. Pierce start's his paper by criticizing the traditional logic for providing us with only neat terminologies about the notion of clear and distinct ideas. As he noted that a "clear Idea is defined as one which is apprehended that it will be recognized wherever it is met with and so that no other will be mistaken for it" (Descartes: Meditations). Pierce notes that this definition of clearness is just neatly crafted words and nothing, because it only amounts to familiarity of ideas and a subjective mastery, which may be entirely mistaken. A distinct idea on the other hand is defined as containing nothing, which is not clear. Pierce says that definition in not only circular but also it leads to the abstract definition of distinctness, which has nothing to do with the actual practical concerns. Pierce further says that it is now time to formulate new thought and a method of attaining more perfect clearness of thought."

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