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Pragmaticism is a term that Charles Sanders Peirce adopted in his late writings to distinguish the particular species of pragmatism that he preferred.

Whether one chooses to call it pragmatism or pragmaticism, and Peirce himself was not always consistent about it even after he found it necessary to introduce the distinction, his conception of pragmatic philosophy is based on one or another version of the so-called "pragmatic maxim". Here is one of his more emphatic statements of it:

Pragmaticism was originally enounced2 in the form of a maxim, as follows: Consider what effects that might conceivably have practical bearings you conceive the objects of your conception to have. Then, your conception of those effects is the whole of your conception of the object (CP 5.438).3


  1. Charles Peirce, "What Pragmatism Is", The Monist, vol. 15, pp. 161-181 (1905), reprinted in Collected Papers, CP 5.411-437 (1934).
  2. Charles Peirce, "How to Make Our Ideas Clear", Popular Science Monthly, vol. 12, pp. 286-302 (1878), reprinted in Collected Papers, CP 5.388-410 (1934).
  3. Charles Peirce, "Issues of Pragmaticism", The Monist, vol. 15, pp. 481-499 (1905), reprinted in Collected Papers, CP 5.438-463 (1934).

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