The aim of the text is to explain the original background and conditions of pragmatism. The text traces four phases that greatly influenced its emergence. Firstly, the philosophical system of the most important American early-modern philosopher Jonathan Edwards is examined. The author shows how his system provides pragmatism with the notion of a reality in which relations are ontologically prior to entities. From the second phase, that is constituted by the ideas of Emerson, pragmatism inherited an emphasis on the power of humans. This enabled pragmatism to avoid predestination, one of the most important Calvinistic dogmas that had enclosed people in the cage of fate. The third phase was created by the arrival of Hegelianism into the USA that helped pragmatists grasp the reality of experience as a flux of ongoing historical stages that significantly determine the „ontological“ features of experience relations, institutions, the self-conception of both societies and individuals. The fourth phase was represented in the first works of members of „The Metaphysical Club“. There the last main tool of pragmatism was introduced i.e. the fluidity of principles that enable people to intelligently react to a problematic situation.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.