David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of the History of Philosophy 8 (4):431 (1970)
Western civilization has experienced the birth of many philosophical movements. Most of these have had their origin in a particular geographical area. One usually refers to the "Continental Rationalists." the "British Empiricists." and the "American Pragmatists." Just as "Rationalism" is said to have been created in Great Britain, it is usually said that "Pragmatism" was born in America. One speaks of pragmatism as "characteristically American." The date of birth of pragmatism in America has been pin-pointed. Its genesis came about during the early part of "The Classical Period in American Philosophy," a period extending from about 1870 to 1910. Both Perry and Wiener 2 have stated that in the United States the movement arose during the 1870's due in part to conversations held by James, Peirce, Wright, Holmes, Fiske, and others at the meetings in Cambridge of an organization called "The Metaphysical Club." At these gatherings the main scientific and philosophical ideas of the day were discussed, and these men produced "American Pragmatism," in part from these discussions, and in part from independent work. Although the birth of pragmatism in America has been quite thoroughly examined, the genesis of pragmatism in Europe has been only sparsely written about. There were many writers in Europe who were associated with the pragmatic movement. In Italy there were...
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