What Is The Characteristics Of Puritanism And Pragmatism

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Benjamin Franklin’s life account is often presented as a surrogate narrative of the history of the America in the epoch in which he lived. His account of modest beginnings – truthfully, but self-consciously re-created by Franklin nearly fifty years later when he began to write his Autobiography – has been accepted as the tale of the America’s first Horatio Alger. Rooted in the New England ethos, Benjamin Franklin was indelibly stamped in the Puritan dye yet exempt from Puritan spirituality. In his thoughts and deed he showed possibilities of a secularized and humanized world view” (Conkin 73). A study of his autobiography exposes how the Puritan anticipates the pragmatism of such American thinkers like Charles S. Pierce, William James and John Deway. This paper endeavors to trace the traits of Puritanism and pragmatism…show more content…
“I wished to live without committing any Fault at anytime; I would conquer all that wither natural Inclination, Custom, or Company might lead me into” (66) says Franklin while describing the grandiose objectives at the time. He derived from his Puritan background, diligence, preoccupation with ethics and a sense of responsibility to an ordered community. But he approached the tradition with “detachment and selectivity”. We find his activities confined to the world of men and he is not involved in any mystical participation in divine being. In the earlier passages of his autobiography there is a reflection of Franklin’s initial optimism in his ability to achieve the desired results and it perhaps reflects his enthusiasm for deistic principles that he describes in the earlier passage of the autobiography. His subsequent account of his failure to reach his goal bespeaks an understanding of human nature in relation to the Divine that owes much more to theology of Calvins and

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