A pragmatic philosophy

A pragmatic philosophy can flourish only if the traditions to be judged and the developments to be influenced are seen as temporary makeshifts and not as lasting constituents of thoughts and action. A participant with a pragmatic philosophy views practices and traditions much as a traveller views foreign countries. Each country has features he likes and things he abhors. In deciding to settle down a traveller will have to compare climate , landscape, language, temperament of the inhabitants, possibilities of change, privacy, looks of male and female population, theatre, opportunities for advancement, quality ofvices and so on. He will also remember that his initial demands and expectations may not be very sensible and so permit the process of choice to affect and change his 'nature' as well which, after all is just another (and minor) practice or tradition entering the process. So a pragmatist must be both a participant and an observer even in those extreme cases where he decides to live in accordance with his momentary whims entirely. (Feyerabend, 1993, Against Method, p. 217)


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