Thursday, February 5, 2009
Obama's Pragmatic Progressive Philosophy
Barack Obama, The Pragmatic Progressive Last month, President Obama referred to himself as having a "pragmatic progressive philosophy" which he said will be "at the heart of my Administration.". Quite an impressive engine of change! Pragmatism, the philosophy that ideology is true if it's application is empirically succesful, was the ruling philosophy of 19th century American Philosopher, William James. It will certainly stand Obama in good stead with regard to his pledge to bi-partinsanship, and with his ability to change course swiftly if conditions call for it. I think it is no accident that such a broad thinker who at the same time has such a manly and vigorous prediliction for action, is at the helm in these troubled times. Not afraid to admit his mistakes - indeed, the other day his words regarding Daschle were, "I screwed up" - and yet fierce and authoratative in his convictions, Obama may not be perfect (who is?) but he is poised for good leadership, which is all we can ask of him. Progressive philosophy believes in applying reason and logic, without metaphysical bias, to problem-solving. It is the proper partner of pragmatism. It is also its offspring. I would imagine that this action-oriented and problem-solving philosophy is far more important than any ideology which Obama has, although the latter must of course serve as the over-arching impetus to action.