<epistemology> the view according to which concepts are merely useful instruments, and that the proper way to evalute concepts and propositions is not through the categories of truth and falsity but through judging their effectiveness; the view developed out of, and is somewhat similar to pragmatism. Perhaps the most famous avowal of instrumentalism was Copernicus' advertisement of his heliocentric hypothesis as nothing more than an aid to astronomical calculation -- a predictive instrument, not purporting to be a true description of astronomical realities. Contrast scientific realism.
based on [The Ism Book, Philosophical Glossary]
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