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[in-struh-men-tl-iz-uh m] /ˌɪn strəˈmɛn tlˌɪz əm/
noun, Philosophy
the variety of pragmatism developed by John Dewey, maintaining that the truth of an idea is determined by its success in the active solution of a problem and that the value of ideas is determined by their function in human experience.
Origin of instrumentalism
1905-10; instrumental + -ism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for instrumentalism
  • The major critique of outcomes based education is its inherent instrumentalism.
British Dictionary definitions for instrumentalism


a system of pragmatic philosophy holding that ideas are instruments, that they should guide our actions and can change the world, and that their value consists not in their truth but in their success
an antirealist philosophy of science that holds that theories are not true or false but are merely tools for deriving predictions from observational data
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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