A fragment of ‘Pragmatism‘ by William James, a book written in 1907. I found this quoted in another book about which I’ll write as soon as I find the time to finish reading it. I suppose pragmatism can be seen as a precursor to constructivism ?

“Metaphysics has usually followed a very primitive kind of quest. You
know how men have always hankered after unlawful magic, and you know
what a great part, in magic, WORDS have always played. If you have
his name, or the formula of incantation that binds him, you can
control the spirit, genie, afrite, or whatever the power may be.
Solomon knew the names of all the spirits, and having their names,
he held them subject to his will. So the universe has always
appeared to the natural mind as a kind of enigma, of which the key
must be sought in the shape of some illuminating or power-bringing
word or name. That word names the universe’s PRINCIPLE, and to
possess it is, after a fashion, to possess the universe itself.
‘God,’ ‘Matter,’ ‘Reason,’ ‘the Absolute,’ ‘Energy,’ are so many
solving names. You can rest when you have them. You are at the end
of your metaphysical quest.

But if you follow the pragmatic method, you cannot look on any such
word as closing your quest. You must bring out of each word its
practical cash-value, set it at work within the stream of your
experience. It appears less as a solution, then, than as a program
for more work, and more particularly as an indication of the ways in
which existing realities may be CHANGED.

WE CAN REST. We don’t lie back upon them, we move forward, and, on
occasion, make nature over again by their aid.”