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The Menace of Pragmatism

Tara Smith

Presented at: OCON 2008

Date: Jun 28, 2008

Objectivism confronts many significant ideological foes—surging environmentalism, religious fundamentalism, collectivism and altruism, to name some of the most prominent. A deeper challenge, however, comes not from a set of substantive theses about god or government or values, but from an intellectual approach to all issues: pragmatism. This policy is, in contemporary culture, pervasive. Dr. Smith examines the distinctive threat that pragmatism poses.

The lecture clarifies exactly what pragmatism consists of, its manifestation across the cultural spectrum, its fundamental error, and the specific means by which it is destructive. Also considered are the sources of pragmatism's appeal, the apparent necessity of compromise in certain situations, and steps we can take to combat pragmatism—both in the culture around us and in ourselves. Only with a clear understanding of pragmatism's nature, its influence, its seductiveness and its evil can we conquer this threat and achieve the ideals of Objectivism.


Parts: 1

Handout: none