Pragmatism

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Pragmatism is a straightforward practical way of thinking about things or dealing with problems, concerned with results rather than with theories and principles. Politicians are often described as pragmatic if they change their policies, or even their professed beliefs, based on what will produce results in a given political climate, or what will win them votes.

Pragmatism is also a philosophical school with origins in the United States which postulates that truth is whatever useful and rejects foundationalism. Perhaps the most well-known pragmatist was William James, who wrote extensively on the subject of religious experience and was writer Henry James' brother. The late philosopher Richard Rorty is also remembered as a "neo-pragmatist". Hu Shi, a famed Chinese modern thinker who was prominent in the pre-Communist China was also influenced by American pragmatism.

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