Definition of pragmatist in English:



  • 1A person who is guided more by practical considerations than by ideals.

    ‘hardheaded pragmatists firmly rooted in the real world’
    • ‘Often the visionary has to work hand in glove with a pragmatist to get results.’
    • ‘The cruel potentate is toppled by a vengeful pragmatist who can't wait to get his hands on his mineral resources.’
    • ‘Edison is the paradigm of the blind pragmatist, making hundreds of bad prototypes to 'bottle' light.’
    • ‘Always the pragmatist, I kept my umbrella ready—just in case.’
    • ‘Regulators are pragmatists of the worst kind—they seek to achieve random, short-term goals regardless of the validity of the methods employed.’
    • ‘He's a pragmatist who's painfully aware of how hard it is to effect change in large organizations.’
    • ‘She is dangerously charismatic as a ruthless pragmatist in a sharp gangster suit.’
    • ‘I've always been torn between my two selves—the artist and the pragmatist.’
    • ‘So far, he has voted broadly in line with the pragmatists.’
    • ‘He was just as fierce a survivor and business pragmatist as he was a gifted cinematic artist.’
  • 2Philosophy
    An advocate of the approach that evaluates theories or beliefs in terms of the success of their practical application.

    ‘American pragmatists have influenced a great deal of recent philosophy of many types’
    as modifier ‘the foundations of pragmatist philosophy’
    • ‘It should be noted that the abductive method is associated with the pragmatist school of philosophy, which does not hold a realist view of knowledge.’
    • ‘In practice, being a pragmatist is much more like being a realist than a crude relativist.’
    • ‘A pragmatist does not think that what we think is true is the same as what is true, since we may think something to be true which doesn't work.’
    • ‘The old pillars of the pragmatist traditions were still active in 1945, but the new positions being developed captured the attention of post-war students of philosophy.’
    • ‘Dewey emphasized the pragmatist thesis that our actions have a fundamental role in shaping our understanding of the world.’
    • ‘They were not all pragmatists—there was, for example, a group of philosophers who developed what they called a 'critical realist' position.’
    • ‘My own view is that it is sensible to start by adopting the pragmatist idea that beliefs involve dispositions to action.’
    • ‘Think of him as a logical empiricist who has shed the dogmas of empiricism—that is, as a pragmatist in the tradition of William James.’
    • ‘Suppose, with these pragmatists and other contextualists, we focus on the activity of justifying beliefs to the exclusion of the state of being justified in holding a belief.’
    • ‘I agreed to stop calling my position either a coherence or a correspondence theory if he would give up the pragmatist theory of truth.’