tried to strike a balance between principles and pragmatism
: an American movement in philosophy founded by C. S. Peirce and William James and marked by the doctrines that the meaning of conceptions is to be sought in their practical bearings, that the function of thought is to guide action, and that truth is preeminently to be tested by the practical consequences of belief
To put it rather more crudely, he is trying to sell his integrationist and reformist agenda using traditionalist legal wrappings. It is, of course, this pragmatism, which sometimes comes across as slippery casuistry, that so annoys his critics.—Malise Ruthven, New York Review of Books, 16 Aug. 2007These are books without slogans, manuals that favor subtlety over simplicity, moderation over bombast, pragmatism over ideology.—Jonathan Tepperman, New York Times Book Review, 16 Oct 2005… compromise (or better yet, its spirit) symbolizes the necessary pragmatism expected of politics in a pluralist society.—Jack N. Rakove, Original Meanings … , 1996
The right person for the job will balance vision with pragmatism.
Recent Examples on the WebBut his message of business-friendly pragmatism hasn’t translated into strong support, in part because of fierce competition from other candidates with similar policies.—Vic Chiang, Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2023 Curtis Sittenfeld’s lighthearted novel about a sketch comedy TV writer falling for a hunky, John Mayer-esque pop star is a perfect blend of serious and cheesy, romance and pragmatism.—Seth Combs, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Nov. 2023 In the case of impunity for Hirohito, Bass encourages readers to consider the virtues of pragmatism.—Foreign Affairs, 20 Oct. 2023 All this was part of Rustin’s central understanding: pragmatism and principle intertwine to make progress.—Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 6 Nov. 2023 Based on prior examples, Durov appears to have an aversion to interfering or taking sides in political and international crises, based more on pragmatism than principle.—Darren Loucaides, WIRED, 31 Oct. 2023 But Erdogan’s pragmatism and transactionalism has at times yielded results in high-profile human rights cases when Washington has pushed hard.—Asli Aydintasbas, Foreign Affairs, 11 Aug. 2023 That pragmatism has been on full display during Europe’s energy crisis, as Habeck has been forced to embrace uncomfortable compromises.—WIRED, 23 June 2023 Nearly a year into the generative AI hype, early alarm among educators has given way to pragmatism.—Pia Ceres, WIRED, 23 Aug. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pragmatism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.