chapter  VIII
The Pragmatism of Tolstoi
Pages 18

Pragmatism mainly associated with the name of William James is the tendency to regard human intelligence as a function which is essentially active, far more than contemplative or even representative, and to look upon truth itself as one form of activity. Tolstoi's pragmatism is the synthesis of tendencies that were always dominant in him: his humanism, which is interested principally and almost exclusively in the man of flesh and blood. It has profound sympathy with this man both from the standpoint of psychological understanding and from that of benevolent emotion his realism, which loves concrete facts and professes a certain disdain for abstractions, in which it suspects the very contrary of realityhis practical tendency, set in the direction of activity, and activity of the most useful kind. Tolstoi's pragmatism is obstinately directed towards life, towards the urge to live. The reason Tolstoi is a pragmatist in pedagogy is because he is a pragmatist in philosophy.