Pragmatic Ethics As a Descriptive Theory 2. Pragmatic Ethics As a Normative Ethics 3. Conclusions PRAGMATISM Recently development shows us the Pragmatism is likely the theory of a meaning, an inquiry, a truth and an ethics. In that aspect Pragmatism can be declared as cohesion between different opinions. Furthermore Pragmatism can be a bridge which balances those differences and get those theories in to synthesis. It IS be against of Preconception, Dogmatism and Authoritative solutions.
But in a contrary way, Pragmatism considers importance of pluralism, collective notion and humanism. Thus Pragmatism is being as an evolutionary liberal philosophy. Pragmatism is being developed mainly by Charles Sanders Pierce, William James and John Dewey. In generally Pragmatism considered in a different way as a Person do anything whatever he/she wants in manner of his profit. But that phenomenon cannot be defined in one sentence. Actually Pragmatism can be divided into 4 different kind of theory as considered above in the first paragraph.
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Therefore meaning of Pragmatism considered in that different kind of aspects. PRAGMATISM AS A THEORY OF MEANING Pragmatism discussed as a theory of meaning by one of its developer from Charles Sanders Price. According to him, any opinion of us about stuff comes from the noticeable effects of that stuff. As an example a book of Kerchief which has been published with name of Analytical Mechanics being criticized by Price. In that book according to Kerchief a Person can understand the effects Of power but it is invisible.
But Price said that if we truly know about the effects of Power, we therefore know the entire happening situation which is mentioned by existence of Power and nothing more required to know. Therefore according to Pragmatist meaning of a concept appears by the help of action, situation or etc… It doesn’t make a cost that whatever we thought/designed about a concept. So the real worth of that concept will be defined by help of relationship of a Person with its environment. Result of our experiments will tell us about the real worth of those concepts.
Although Price was the founder of Pragmatism, actually that philosophy became a famous over the World by contribution of William James. Sesame’s Pragmatism is differing from Pierce’s in 3 manners. First of all according to Price, Pragmatism is not totally but as essentially consists of a theory of meaning. But this vision didn’t accept by James due to his implementation of Pragmatism into metaphysical aspects. Those different opinions depend on transferring of Sesame’s attention from meanings into affects.
As an example he didn’t only think about scalded hand under the fire also he thought that how should be reacted when a fire been seen. PRAGMATISM AS A THEORY OF INQUIRY Pragmatism can be seen as a theory of inquiry. According to Pragmatist, a Person interrogates the meaning of concepts only when some other influences/threats affects into its opinion. In that situation that Person who has threatened from its environment starts to adopt against those threats. Therefore inquiry being defined by Price as transferring effort from suspicion into belief.
He says; if suspicion has been started a state of belief has also been started. Therefore according to him purpose of inquiry is a settlement of opinion. As happens in the aspect of meaning theory, James and Dewey thinks not the same as Price in inquiry theory. Dewey tells us about the steps which should be taken from a Person who has a suspicion. So according to Dews Pragmatism slight, inquiries should find solution for the problems which happens in environment The difference slight between James and Dewey is considered by a scientist.
He said that; Pierce’s inquiry comprehension depends on defining satisfactions but as a contrary Dewey aims to fixing its position. As an understood from that debate, starting point of Pragmatism is not suspicion also it is about established principles/beliefs. According to Price by defining the beliefs 3 different ways is being used as a traditionally. But he suggests handling a new scientific technique. Those 3 different ways are; the first one People don’t want to see what happens in their environment. Price calls that way as tenacity.
The second way calls as n authority. In that situation beliefs are been defined by any corporations. Price thinks that the first and the second methods are unsuccessful due to beliefs of a Person cannot be controlled by whatsoever corporations. The third and also the last way calls as a priori. It is not differ from the method of authority but according to that method acting of a Person depends on established principles. Judgments like people are good> or <Nature of all People are bad> defines how a Person act and beliefs into what.
If those beliefs doesn’t support by the truth they won’t be counted as a rue from Pragmatist, albeit suitably. Price says that if a Person realizes that his belief has been shaped by an insubstantial situation/case, he gets doubt on its belief. After that point those beliefs lose their attributes. Therefore, according to Price by making a decision and creating some of our beliefs we shouldn’t take care of those above given 3 different traditionally methods. Instance of considering those traditionally methods, method of science can be used to define our beliefs.
That science method consists of 3 different phase. In first phase a Person should create some hypothesis to decide which f its belief take roll on. This called as abduction. After that a Person makes some inferences from its hypothesis. This called deduction. At last phase a Person acts likely to that result and defines whether its inferences happen or not. That is called induction. PRAGMATISM AS A THEORY OF TRUTH According to Pragmatist the not only important thing is how getting our beliefs also at same time the truth of those beliefs are much important.
About the reality Price says that; truth is any of idea which can be accepted by a person who has investigated. But according to James and Dewey; the truth of NY beliefs can be measured by success of solving some problems in our lives. In that aspects Price and James have nearly the same slight about the truth. PRAGMATISM AS A THEORY OF ETHICS Pragmatism can be measured as a theory of ethics. So far we can easily predict what actually Pragmatism defending on. First of all, Pragmatism refuses dogmatic approach into ethics and there is not any rule which forces a Person acting in a pre-definite boundary.
According to James none of an ethic philosophy is being created in a dogmatic way and he adds that being suitable to humanism and interactions ontology, Pragmatism declares that ACH problems has own quality and therefore, different solutions methods must be approved to get solution for each problems. Thus, according to theory Of pragmatism creating ethical philosophy is not being completed yet, perhaps it will never be accomplished. James says that; final truth can never be reached until a Person, who the latest one in this World is, gets some experiences and telling what its inferences from those experiences.
Pragmatism aims to placing sophistication in a daily life of a Person. Firstly, Pragmatism refuses two identical approaches to events and objects like a goal-tool distinction. As an example Dewey says that we cannot realize the final goals of our behaviors, on the contrary goals which are so close to us can be realized much easily. From that aspect, according to Pragmatism, to ensure solving so many problems in our environment principles of ethics must be defined as an induction phase by the help of our brains.
Ethic comprehension of Pragmatism is differing from ethic comprehension of both deontological and utilitarianism approaches. By deciding the quality of a behavior deontological approaches emphasize the importance Of tools and morality but utilitarianism approaches emphasize only goals and their results. But according to Pragmatism nor tools neither goals should become count on because they both influences each others. Hence, Pragmatist thinks that ethical behaviors must consist of both morality and successfully results. But don’t remember that thus opinions only define the general boundary of ethic comprehension.
The precise definition of ethical behavior for each situation depends on type of situation. To get successfully results human experiences and brains needed according to specification of situation. PRAGMATIC ETHICS AS A DESCRIPTIVE THEORY Price provides a teleological framework for pragmatic ethics drawn from two important intellectual developments of the 19th century: the central limit theorem and Darning’s theory of evolution, both of which continue to be counted as fundamental theorems of statistics and biology. Price is also keen to show how they complement one another.
The central limit theorem states that random processes, such as rolling dice, the velocity of gas molecules in a closed container, or sampling arbitrarily from a population, will express itself by the Gaussian power law-??the familiar bell-shaped curve, or normal distribution as Price originally coined the term. Price likes to say hat this theorem proves chance begets order. More generously interpreted, the central limit theorem suggests that phenomena have a tendency towards self-morning, or as Price would put it, … All things have a tendency to take habits.
For … Every conceivable real object, there is a greater probability of acting as on a former like occasion than otherwise… Price calls these pinions processes, in that direction emerges in and through their interactive behavior. The central limit theorem had enormous import for Price. One important sense is derived from his work on calculating observation errors in astronomy. If all observations of a star are assumed wrong, it is possible to determine the approximately correct position of the star, based on the central limit theorem and the method of least squares.
All observations are subject to error, but get self-corrected in comparison with more observations; the larger the sample of observations, the more likely the resultant line of best fit is the correct position of the star. Thus, truth emerges from the self, correction of error through a sufficiently long process of inquiry—the central theme of Pierce’s theory of inquiry. The second import of the central limit hurry is that it shows all laws are habits with variations. Their indurate character is measured by the range of deviations.
Dynamic variations from the norm and can lead to subtle, sometimes dramatic changes in habits. This requires some mechanism of selection that allows for the prosperity of the central tendency, or some of its deviations. For example, when this concept is applied to thermodynamic concepts such as the gas behavior in a closed container-??the second law argues that velocities of the gas molecules will settle around a normative, I. E. , uniform velocity, best expressed by the Gaussian power curve.
Yet, as Maxwell showed, precisely because it is a central tendency, there are variations in that velocity and, in principle, mechanisms–;such as Maxwell could select molecules in a manner that take advantage of those deviations. Price notes the linkage to evolution theory–selection of variations from a norm will result in subtle, sometimes radical shifts and, cumulatively, over time, could result in a significant change in the fabric of things. The hypothesis suggested by the present writer is that all laws are results of evolution; that underlying all other laws … The tendency of all things to take habits…. If law is a result of evolution… It follows that no law is absolute. That is, we must suppose that the phenomena themselves involve departures from law analogous to errors of observation.. … In so far as evolution follows a law, the law of habit, instead of being a movement from homogeneity to heterogeneity, is growth from deformity to uniformity. But the chance divergences from law are perpetually acting to increase the variety of the world, and are checked by a sort of natural selection.
The central limit theorem and the theory of evolution are implementers in the sense that the former permits the possibility of variation, and the latter provides selection devices which perpetuate variations. As we know, Darning’s theory accounts elegantly for the variety of species through relatively simple processes of variation and selection. The development of genetics provided, auspiciously, the detailed mechanisms for transmission of traits and their variations.
Although Price recognized the power of Darning’s theory, he believed that the evolution of certain phenomena-??especially cultural and technological ones—could not be fully explained by the fortuitous processes of natural selection alone. The development in the history of thought seems to outpace any form of biological evolution. Compared to the biological evolution from homo sapiens to homo sapiens sapiens in a period of roughly 200,000 years, innovations in technology have changed rapidly in a mere 4,000 years—a factor of 50. For this reason, Price believed that Lamarckian evolution was an appropriate explanation Of cultural evolution.
In this respect he stands in good company with several contemporary thinkers. As we know Lamarckian theory fails as n account of biological evolution. It claims there can be genotypes inheritance of acquired phenotypes characteristics in the evolutionary process. In Darwinian theory, the phenotype is an expression of a genotype; environmental pressures select phenotypes which reproduce the information expressed in their genotype to a next generation; mutations and fortuitous variations are passed on and feed into the success or failure of selection.
As Price knew, Wassermann (1883) showed that acquired changes to the body of an organism during its lifetime did not affect the gametes or sex cells of an organism, demonstrating a biological barrier to the transmission of acquired traits to the next generation. However, Lamarckian evolution more easily explains rapid evolutionary changes in culture. According to Geoffrey Hodgkin, Lamarckian, as an account of social evolution, is not incompatible with Darwinian-based biotic evolution. Darwinism could account for the emergence of learning capacity, which in turn feeds into the possibility of a Lamarckian-like process.
For Hodgkin, the notion of habit is a key concept in the theoretical explanation of such change, and recognizes the contribution of the pragmatists to this action (Hodgkin, forthcoming). The notion of habit provides an alternative to Dianna explanations of cultural change, such as Disdain’s memorial. Although this debate cannot be pursued here, it is important to note that even a strong critic of Lamarckism, Daniel Detente, argues that the theory is a plausible account of non-genetic inheritances (Detente 1995).
As Price says, Lamarckian evolution is… Evolution by the force of habit. Habit… Forces [new elements] to take practical shapes, compatible with the structure they affect, and in the form of heredity and otherwise, gradually replaces the pantones energy that sustains them. Thus, habit plays a double part; it serves to establish the new features, and also to bring them into harmony with the general morphology and function of the animals and plants. Habits are bridging mechanisms between the biological and socio-cultural domains.
The purposive drive of individuals contributes directly to the reinforcement or change of certain habits, which are then passed on generational in the form of local institutionalized practices. Habits are not dispositions, but as Dewey argues, … The cooperation of organism and environment…. Walking implicates the ground as well as the legs…. They are things done by the environment by means of organic structures or acquired dispositions. Price says the stream of water that wears a bed for itself is forming a habit The point is that, even if the capacity for a habit is immanent to an organism, habits are not.
They are formed in the interstices between organism and its habitat. Virtues and vices, Dewey says, are working adaptations of personal capacities with environing forces. Dewey believes habits start as an activity by someone which sets up reaction in the surroundings others approve, sportive, protest, encourage, share and resent. So, in this respect, conduct is always shared. As shared, habits are formed through the convergence of the behavior of individuals within their environment, so is a pinions process.
Brushing one’s teeth is not a disposition in the person but, rather-??figuratively speaking-??a channel dug into the fabric of people’s immediate internal and external environment. The very presence of equipment and the establishment of habitat for brushing suggests a history and effort of institutionalizing, offices for its practice, and teaching for ourselves and our children. In effect, the brushing habit is a capacity realized in the organization of the environment in which it is exercised, its institutionalizing in the larger culture.
This easily translates to moral habits. Moral agents are already habituated. Although it is always possible to deviate from these moral habits, they constitute the bulwark of the working part Of moral life, and are ingrained in institutions and practices. In a well-ordered society, most people are not in the habit of killing; practices and institutions are established to mollify frustrations, anger, conflict, and, individuals have acquired mental and emotional habits that do the same thing-??- reinforcing and being reinforced by institutions and practices.
Habits provide us with an ethical tens, a ready-made repertoire of actions and conduct. As Pierce says the pursuit of a conscience, if one hasn’t one already… Seems to me an aimless and hypochondriac pursuit. If a man finds himself under no sense of obligation, let him congratulate himself. For such a man to hanker after a bondage to conscience, is as if a man with a good digestion should cast about for a regiment of food. A conscience, too, is not a theorem or a piece of information… Acquired by reading a book; it must be bred in a man from infancy or it will be a poor imitation of the genuine article.
If a man has a conscience, it may be an article of faith with him that he should reflect upon that conscience, and thus… Receive a further development. But it never will do him the least good to get up a make-believe skepticism and pretend to himself not to believe what he really does believe. Most people act morally on the basis of existing habits; it is only when habits fail to address novel situations, or external and internal conflicts that genuine moral deliberation sakes place. Deliberation, however, is not a monotonic process, but eclectic.
Dewey says we are not consistently rational maximizes, or even satisfiers, but use methods appropriate to our sense of ourselves as moral agents, conceptualized to the practice and situation The office of deliberation is not to supply an inducement to act by figuring out where the most advantage is to be procured. It is to resolve entanglements in existing activity, restore continuity, recover harmony, utilize loose impulse and redirect habit. Analogous to the behavior of gas particles, moral agents fitted by the ability of self-correction are similarly pinions.
Their interaction Will produce a morning, and under the assumption that everyone is wrong, yet capable Of correction, a vector will emerge, not determinately, but in the very process of morning -??what Dewey calls the mutual modification of habits. This is not a natural selection theory, butt conscious selection theory—the tendency towards a result is itself the result of controlled selection by agents. In practical terms, norms result from an effort by communities of moral agents to select for better norms, to engage in a process of the fixation of habits. Deer the right conditions the tendency is for those agents to select better. In this regard there is a parallel, for Price, between convergence towards a true belief and a right norm. This Lamarckian-process thereby distinguishes itself from Darwinian ones by this contact for improvement– which Price sometimes whimsically calls evolutionary love, and which captures Cant’s original sense of ‘pragmatic’: ‘pragmatic’ knowledge aims at improvement, according to self-adopted purposes, and which the human species can work … Only through continuous progress within an endless sequence of many generations.
Living in the milieu of social Darwinism, Price characterized its ethos as a competition among individuals for survival, the selection process prospering the fittest, and foregoing the less fit. Price depicts Darwinism as a zero-sum game among gamblers in which each generation will become smaller but, at the same time, richer. Lamarckian processes emphasize cooperation instead as the primary mode of inheritance because of the very nature of the formation of habits-??which requires the behavior of individuals converge to some degree.
Darwinian processes only require individuals to successfully reproduce. For Alarmists the lack of cooperation is the anomaly to be explained; for Darwinism, cooperation is the anomaly. PRAGMATIC ETHICS AS A NORMATIVE ETHICS Pragmatic ethics is in part a descriptive theory arguing that ethical norms emerge through a pinions process created when norms correct against each other, a process parallel to Pierce’s convergence theory of truth: just as the history of thought shows fixation of belief, human history shows the fixation of habits.
But in order for pragmatic ethics to be effective, it must also provide a normative theory, establishing criteria for the evaluation of habits and emerging norms. Dew’s rather vague criteria is not very helpful: we should promote habits that simply promote the development of habits. Nor are his followers much more helpful. La Foliate, for example, attempts the trick of suggesting that pragmatic ethics employs criteria but is not criteria, which is patently paradoxical.
In effect, the descriptive aspect of pragmatic ethics says that self-morning happens; that-??comparable to Newton’s first law—habits have a tendency to remain in place until met with a force that opposes them; and that the result of such disruptions is that a second, self- morning process results. If this is the case Pragmatic Ethics is in danger of being committed to these morally doubtful claims: 1 . Whatever dominant norm emerges is the right norm. 2. Whatever norm persists is the right norm. TO counter their obvious flaws, it must be supposed that: 1 .
The right norm will eventually emerge as a central tendency, but not all central tendencies will be right. 2. The right norm will persist, but not everything that persists should be counted as right. Thus, although the presence of central tendency and persistence is a necessary condition for the rightness of norms, they are not sufficient conditions. Some of this criteria for the sufficient conditions can be found in Pierce’s theory of inquiry. If there is a parallel between the fixation of beliefs and the fixation of ethical habits, then the methods by which morning takes place matters.
Following his ideas in “The Fixation of Belief,” morning by exclusion, authoritative domination, and dogmatic morning allow us to discount certain kind of norms that happen to achieve dominance. In scientific observation, this would be comparable to excluding observations of stars by fiat, or by the fact that they happen to disagree with yours. Second, the scope Of such norms should tater. Analogous to scientific practice, the smaller the sample, the less reliable the results. The law of large numbers suggests that the results of sampling become more accurate as the sample increases in size.
Thus, the more inclusive the morning process, the more likely the results will be the right norm. Both Price and Dewey share the normative ideals of a certain type of community necessary for proper inquiry-??both scientifically and ethically. However, Dew’s notion of the public, and the proper constitution of public discourse may be a more appropriate substitute for the more extractive sense of scientific community found in Price The connection here with Haberdasher’s and Apple’s notions of discourse ethics are also worth exploring.
CONCLUSION All of investigation show us that Pragmatism isn’t imitative and cannot be defined so easily as a utilitarianism. It was founded towards the 20th century in United States of America and nearly all the root of sciences have been affected by that philosophy. Depending on the theory of meaning, the real worth of any concept is being formed from its perceivable affects. Therefore those meaning will not appear in theoretical meaning, contrary will appear in NY case or happens. Pragmatic approach is not only helpful for appearing that meaning also helps for how to elicit for those.
As an example if we thought about the war, it is not meaningful that thinking of war only a victory. Also one of perceivable affects of war is death and destroying. Namely if facet of wars are also well-known about that reality of death and destroying, they will able to realized a more sensational behavior like a rationalism. Depending on the theory of inquiry, Pragmatism emphasizes passing through from suspicion into beliefs. If the beliefs of Person are threatened by its environment, incompatibility between a Person’s own beliefs and its environment will increases.
Therefore some of its conviction/satisfaction will be out, and new suspicious will be appeared. Here comes the most important question; how can a Person define its own conviction situation? As an answer, according to Pragmatism scientific methods must take a place in this moment. Those methods should be helpful for a Person whose beliefs have been threatened by environment. Because a Person will be orientated by the factor of human in the methods of tenacity, authority and priorities. So he/ she will again believe into full of mistakes.
But on the other hand science is an objective and only science has a capacity to realize its own mistakes and fix it back. So according to Pragmatism convictions and beliefs must be formed by an external continuity. Depending on the theory of truth, Pragmatism defines the truth as an inevitable thing that cannot be refused by the investigators in the future. In that definition accent held in the future terms. In that time none of the investigators may not be likened in a certain tasks, but in the future phase they will be met in a special point where all of investigators opinion will coincide.
By the help of that coincide, opinion of that objective will be proved. This is like an evolutionary ontology. So with the contribution Of evolutionary truth comprehension, Pragmatism is placed in the opposite side of both absolutism and skepticism. Depending on the theory of ethics, Pragmatism refuses the existence of ethics concepts which forces a Person to act in a certain boundary. Seeing that the truth will be defined in the future phase and depending that People believes into different things and acts also in different way from each others. If so, according to Pragmatism the existence of unchangeable ethics concepts cannot be defended.
Each Person will reach his/her own truths and will define ethics concepts which will suitable for him/ her. So Pragmatism defends pluralism. That pluralism concept tries to make some equilibrium been personal values and social values. Improvement on the ethics depends on defining cohesion between values as well as possible and after getting definition should do some analysis on it. By the way Pragmatism refuses to think about any certain happen just only looking for tools and goals. However tools and goals are also important but before making a decision should have searched for interactions between those incepts.
As a conclusion Pragmatism refuses demonology approaches and utilitarianism. As we understood from this essay, Pragmatism is an evolutionary liberal philosophy and aims to evolutionary improvement by the help of changes. Explicitly refuses about radical opinions. In that aspect Pragmatism can be seen as a bridge which balances the opposite slights and getting analyze them. Also Pragmatism is optimist for thinking about our World is getting a greater place to live it on. As a last word on Pragmatism; it will be helpful philosophy when it is fully-learned from the investigators.