C. I. Lewis in focus: The pulse of pragmatism (review)

Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (4):pp. 651-652 (2008)
While C. I. Lewis’s most celebrated logical innovation is by no means neglected, strict implication features in Rosenthal’s discussion in a fashion parallel, one comes to understand, to its role in his broader philosophical efforts, viz., as one component of a much more ambitious philosophical enterprise. Were one pressed to apply a label to Lewis’s broader project, “epistemological” is perhaps the most fitting term, with his accomplishments in logic paving the way to this broader effort. As with Lewis, Rosenthal sets for herself an ambitious project. She offers a meticulous explication of Lewis’s philosophical development, ranging from his logical investigations to his treatment of a priori knowledge, and, eventually, to a pragmatic understanding of moral imperatives. But always in her sights is the promise of a bridge between traditions, one might say, in which Lewis’s work is relevant both to analysts and to continentalists . Similarly, but more narrowly, Rosenthal’s Lewis manages to plaster over many of the cracks in the work of other classical pragmatists. For example, in response to James’s apparent commitment to the notion of degrees of truth whereby new systems of thought are judged
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DOI 10.1353/hph.0.0065
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