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 Kelsey's Briefs

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PostSubject: Kelsey's Briefs   Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:22 pm

Briefs
1. Pragmatism is inconsistent.

Argument against this point: Pragmatism is consistent in how it approaches situations. Yes it changes its course of action, but that is not inconsistency because pragmatism is always solving the problem. Therefore, pragmatism is able to be used in a variety of situations because it is the practical approach to solving problems. So while the actual route is different, the approach is the same. This is similair to a person who wants to go to two different places, the route (practical action) is different, but he still uses a car to get there (the approach is the same).

2. Pragmatism is a means to an end.

Argument against this point: Pragmatism is, again, a practical approach to solving problems. Solving problems is perhaps a means to an end, but let us consider what would happen if we did not have those means to an end. Goals would never be met, ideals would remain ideals. Consider a person who is building a house, if he did not use the tools (means to an end) then he would never be able to build a house (the end). Therefore, means to an end are not always a bad thing.

3. If you are not pursuing an ideal, then there is no point to life.

Argument against this point: This is a true statement. Notice the wording, not pursuing, this implies action, which is the basis of pragmatism. So, in essence, this statement does not predict pragmatism because pragmatism is often the pursuit of an ideal. This is very closely related to the idea that ideals are useless without pragmatic action behind it.

4. The easy way is not always the best way.

Argument against this point: Pragmatism is not necessarily the ‘easy way.’ It is simply dealing with a problem in a realistic way. This is illustrated by Harry Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. This could be interpreted as the “easy way out” but think of all the deliberation and careful thought that went into this decision. It was certainly not an easy decision to make. He dealt with this problem in a realistic way. He realized that this was the right decision to shorten the second world war. Therefore, pragmatism is not the easy way, but the realistic way.

5. Without idealism, pragmatism is useless.

Argument against this point: Let us go back to the house and tools illustration. Are tools useless if not building a house? No, they are still tools and are still useful. Therefore, pragmatism is not useless, but simply not in use, if not working towards an ideal. Let us also consider that idealism is actually useless without pragmatism. The blueprint for a house (ideal) is not good for anything until acted upon.

Last one is a little rusty, any suggestions? scratch
Thanks! Kelsey
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