Classical pragmatism, despite its recognized concern for questions of freedom and democracy, has little to say directly about questions of power. Some commentators have found Dewey’s notion of habit to be a resource for taking up issues of power while others have argued that pragmatism does not provide a sufficiently critical tool to challenge systematic oppression. Still others have proposed to shore up pragmatism by using resources found in post-structuralism, particularly in the work of Foucault. This paper begins with this (...) suggestion, but argues that while Foucault offers a useful starting point his conception of power fails—at least in an American context characterized by the experience of pluralism. I then argue that the pragmatist tradition, through the work of Mary P. Follett (1868-1933) has the theoretical resources to generate a conception of power that begins with the experience of pluralism. (shrink)
In his 1905 work on the logical foundations of geometry, Royce proposed a logic based on the “obverse” or O-relation that could provide a means of understanding any system of order. Royce explains that this relation, which he calls the O-relation, “in logical terms, . . . is the relation in which (if we were talking of the possible chances [choices] open to one who had to decide upon a course of action) any set of exhaustive but, in their entirety, (...) inconsistent choices would stand to one another” (Royce, 1951, 385). This focus on the process of making choices turns on the idea that the action of making a choice produces an asymmetrical relation and so a key part of Royce’s project was to demonstrate the .. (shrink)
Josiah Royce (1855?1916) was, in addition to being the pre-eminent metaphysician at the turn of the 19th century in the USA, regarded as ?a logician of the first rank?. At the time of his death in 1916, he had begun a substantial and potentially revolutionary project in logic in which he sought to show the connection between logic and ethics, aesthetics, and metaphysics. His system was developed in light of the work of Bertrand Russell and A. B. Kempe and aimed (...) to include Russell's logic as a subsystem. This more comprehensive logic, which Royce called system Σ, brought together an analysis of the character of experience and knowledge with the principles which served to organize interests and direct actions. The result was to be a logical theory framed by ?a profoundly ethical motive as well as a genuinely intellectual one? that would serve as ?a theory of the way in which activities must go on if they go on at all?. This paper examines three stages in the development of Royce's logical system, its relation to the logic of Principia Mathematica, and prospects for its further development. (shrink)
: One of the most influential branches of nineteenth-century American feminism was a resistance movement committed to the idea that the key to social reform was the recognition and maintenance of human differences. This approach, which became central to American pragmatism, had its roots in a tradition of American women writers including Lydia Maria Child. This paper examines Child's work and focuses on her conception of pluralism and its role in sustaining diverse communities.
In the wake of a war against the United States and the displacement of his people from their lands at the confluence of the Rock and Mississippi Rivers, the Sauk leader, Black Hawk, prepared an autobiography published in 1833. At the center of his work was an attempt to offer his readers a strategy that would make it possible for the Sauk and other Native peoples to coexist with the Americans of European descent who had come to the Mississippi valley. (...) The autobiography, from this perspective, represents more than another statement of a Native American ''worldview.'' Instead, it offers an assessment and a response to a crisis of survival. At issue for Black Hawk are neither property rights nor the troubles of communication between cultures, but rather ways of seeing and understanding the place that sustained the life of his people. Here, the land is not merely something valued, but rather the ground that organizes the meaning of things and events. It is the breakdown of this logic of place, both within the Native community and outside it, that precipitated the disastrous war and it is the recovery of this logic through the narrative of Black Hawk's autobiography that he raises the possibility of cultural survival. This paper reexamines Black Hawk's project and provides resources for reading it both as philosophy and as an instance of a conception of place that can contribute to ongoing efforts to promote the coexistence of cultural differences in the land of Black Hawk's people. (shrink)
In an environment characterized by the emergence of new and diverse (and often opposed) philosophical efforts, there is a need for a conception of philosophy that will promote the exchange and critical consideration of divergent insights. Depending upon the operative conception, philosophical efforts can be viewed as significant, insightful and instructive, or unimportant, misguided and not real philosophy. This paper develops John Dewey's conception of philosophy as a mode of inquiry in contrast with Bertrand Russell's conception of philosophy as a (...) mode of analysis. I argue that while Russell's analytic conception of philosophy justifies the dismissal of non-analytic philosophies, Dewey's conception of philosophy provides a theoretical framework for the comparison, evaluation and interaction of alternatives. (shrink)