Although Brandom is critical of some features of narrowly conceived classical pragmatism, at the same time he explicitly embraces a version of pragmatism, both in his overall philosophical outlook, and in his philosophy of language. Brandom’s distinctive theoretical approach is based on what he calls rationalistpragmatism, which is a version of fundamental pragmatism. Within the philosophy of language it takes the form of semantic pragmatism. The paper briefly discusses Brandomian version of fundamental (...) class='Hi'>pragmatism and its semantic underpinning, and subsequently formulates a basic dilemma it encounters there. (shrink)
Language development is one of the major battle grounds within the humanities and sciences. This is the first time that the three major theories in language development research have been fully described and compared within the covers of a single book. The three approaches: (1) The rationalism of Chomsky and the syntactic nativism that it entails; (2) The empiricism instinct in connectionist modelling of syntactic development; (3) The pragmatism of those who see the child as actively 'constructing' a grammatical (...) 'inventory' piece-by-piece through recruiting general learning abilities and socio-cognitive knowledge. -/- The book is unique in striking a balance between broad philosophical assessment of these three theories and fine-grain, fairly technical, accounts of how they fare at the empirical and linguistic 'coal faces'. -/- In Part 1, the kind of psychology to which rationalism, empiricism, and pragmatism give rise are described with reference to philosophers such as Fodor, Hume, and the American pragmatists from Peirce, to Rorty and Brandom. After an introduction to the syntactic analysis of the sentence, Part 2 continues with an account of the evolution of Chomskyan theory from its inception to the present day, followed by a review of developmental research inspired by it. Part 3 takes a sceptical look at connectionist modelling of syntactic development. Part 4 describes the kind of linguistic theories that the socio-cognitive approach finds sympathetic, reviewing its empirical progress (e.g. the work of Tomasello), ending with a comparison of how the generativists and functionalists tackle the evolution of syntax. -/- Clearly and accessibly written, the book will be an important text for developmental psychologists, linguists, and philosophers working on language. (shrink)
In this paper I illustrate what is reconstructive rationality, a notion that remains rather undetermined in Robert Brandom's work. I argue that theoretical and historical thinking are instances of reconstruction and should not be identified with it. I then explore a further instance of rational reconstruction, which Brandom calls “reconstructive metaphysics”, arguing that the demarcation between metaphysical and non-metaphysical theories has to be understood as a pragmatic one. Finally, I argue that Brandom’s reconstructive metaphysics is basically a pragmatist metaphysics. Here (...) I try to outline a pragmatist understanding of the concept of metaphysics in order to reconcile Brandom's more or less implicit attempt at metaphysical theorizing with his devotion to a pragmatist tradition that is resistant if not hostile to the very idea of metaphysics. Hence I come back to the question of how pragmatism has contributed to the understanding of “reconstructive rationality”, and argue that the latter is a notion of rationality which is needed by Brandom’s philosophy but which cannot find a clear place in the typology of the five forms of rationality that he introduces, being more akin to the core structure of rationality rather than a specific form of it. (shrink)
Classical American pragmatism: the pragmatist -- Enlightenment-and its problematic semantics -- Analyzing pragmatism: pragmatics and pragmatisms -- A Kantian rationalistpragmatism: pragmatism -- Inferentialism, and modality in Sellars's arguments against -- Empiricism -- Linguistic pragmatism and pragmatism about norms: an arc of -- Thought from Rorty's eliminative materialism to his pragmatism -- Vocabularies of pragmatism: synthesizing naturalism and -- Historicism -- Towards an analytic pragmatism: meaning-use analysis -- Pragmatism, expressivism, (...) and anti-representationalism: -- Local and global possibilities. (shrink)
Noted psychologist and philosopher develops his own brand of pragmatism, based on theories of C. S. Peirce. Emphasis on "radical empiricism," versus the transcendental and rationalist tradition. One of the most important books in American philosophy. Note.
This paper presents an outline of Carlos Vaz Ferreira's moderate anti-intellectualism, paying special attention to the relations between science and philosophy as complementary aspects of human knowledge. Explicitly opposing William James's radical anti-intellectualism, and thus apparently anti-Pragmatist, Vaz is in fact very close to the central ideas of Pragmatism. A defense of reason as a valuable help for penetrating into reality, combined with the recognition of extra-rational elements that contribute to human apprehension of reality, results in a position that (...) can be characterized by its anti-rationalism, fallibilism and pluralism. (shrink)
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... (shrink)
Fodor’s theory makes thinking prior to doing. It allows for an inactive agent or pure reflector, and for agents whose actions in various ways seem to float free of their own conceptual repertoires. We show that naturally evolved creatures are not like that. In the real world, thinking is always and everywhere about doing. The point of having a brain is to guide the actions of embodied beings in a complex material world. Some of those actions are, to be sure, (...) more recondite than others. But in every case the contents of thoughts still look to depend, in some non-unique but vitally important way, on the kinds of doings they support. (shrink)
C. S. Peirce once defined pragmatism as the opinion that metaphysics is to be largely cleared up by the application of the following maxim for attaining clearness of apprehension: ‘Consider what effects that might conceivably have practical bearings we conceive the object of our conception to have. Then, our conception of these effects is the whole of our conception of the object.’ (Peirce 1982a: 48) More succinctly, Richard Rorty has described the position in this way.
Following Quine, Davidson, and Dennett, I take mental states and linguistic meaning to be individuated with reference to interpretation. The regulative principle of ideal interpretation is to maximize rationality, and this accounts for the distinctiveness and autonomy of the vocabulary of agency. This rationality-maxim can accommodate empirical cognitive-psychological investigation into the nature and limitations of human mental processing. Interpretivism is explicitly anti-reductionist, but in the context of Rorty's neo-pragmatism provides a naturalized view of agents. The interpretivist strategy affords a (...) less despondent view of constructive philosophical activity than Rorty's own. (shrink)
Abstract. Focusing on part one of Tales of the Mighty Dead and on its relation to the afterword to Between Saying and Doing, I illustrate what reconstructive methodology is and argue that theoretical thinking is one of its instances. I then show that the historical understanding involved in telling the story of a philosophical tradition is another case of reconstruction: one that deepens our understanding of the retrospective character of reconstruction itself, adding something new to our conception of rationality. I (...) then explore a further instance of reconstructive rationality, that is what Brandom calls “reconstructive metaphysics”, i.e. a reconstructive theory whose aspiration is global rather than local. Finally, I argue that Brandom’s reconstructive metaphysics is basically a pragmatist metaphysics. (shrink)
I argue that we should reject all traditional forms of act-consequentialism if moral rationalism is true. (Moral rationalism, as I define it, holds that if S is morally required to perform x, then S has decisive reason, all things considered, to perform x.) I argue that moral rationalism in conjunction with a certain conception of practical reasons (viz., the teleological conception of reasons) compels us to accept act-consequentialism. I give a presumptive argument in favor of moral rationalism. And I argue (...) that act-consequentialism is best construed as a theory that ranks outcomes, not according to their impersonal value, but according to how much reason each agent has to desire that they obtain. (shrink)
Environmental pragmatism is a new strategy in environmental thought: it argues that theoretical debates are hindering the ability of the environmental movement to forge agreement on basic policy imperatives. This new direction in environmental philosophy moves beyond theory, advocating a serious inquiry into the practical merits of moral pluralism. Environmental pragmatism, as a coherent philosophical position, connects the methodology of classical American pragmatist thought to the explanation, solution and discussion of real issues.
Extending the project of analysis -- Elaborating abilities : the expressive role of logic -- Artificial intelligence and analytic pragmatism -- Modality and normativity : from Hume and Quine to Kant and Sellars -- Incompatibility, modal semantics, and intrinsic logic -- Intentionality as a pragmatically mediated semantic relation -- Afterword : philosophical analysis and analytic philosophy.
In Epistemic Two-Dimensional Semantics, David Chalmers seeks to develop a version of 2-D semantics which can vindicate the rationalist claim that there are constitutive connections between meaning, possibility and a priority. Chalmers lays out different ways of filling in his preferred epistemic approach to 2-D semantics so as to avoid controversial philosophical assumptions. In these comments, however, I argue that there are some distinctively rationalist commitments in Chalmers's epistemic approach to 2-D semantics. I start by explaining why Chalmers's (...) approach requires a canonical language that affords subjects accurate a priori access to the space of possibility. I then argue that traditional worries about rationalism will simply re-emerge as worries about whether there can be a canonical vocabulary and how we could come to recognize one if there were. The moral is that Chalmers's 2-D semantic framework builds in substantive metaphysical and epistemological commitments which stand in need of further defense. (shrink)
Postmodernism -- Classical pragmatism : waiting at the end of the road -- Pragmatism, postmodernism, and global citizenship -- Classical pragmatism, postmodernism, and neopragmatism -- Technology -- Classical pragmatism and communicative action : Jürgen Habermas -- From critical theory to pragmatism : Andrew Feenberg -- A neo-Heideggerian critique of technology : Albert Borgmann -- Doing and making in a democracy : John Dewey -- The environment -- Nature as culture : John Dewey and Aldo Leopold (...) -- Green pragmatism : reals without realism, ideals without idealism -- Classical pragmatism -- What was Dewey's magic number? -- Cultivating a common faith : Dewey's religion -- Beyond the epistemology industry : Dewey's theory of inquiry -- The homo faber debate in Dewey and Max Scheler -- Productive pragmatism : habits as artifacts in Peirce and Dewey. (shrink)
In recent years, a renascent form of pragmatism has developed which argues that a satisfactory pragmatic position must integrate into itself the concepts of truth and objectivity. This New Pragmatism, as Cheryl Misak calls it, is directed primarily against Rorty's neo-pragmatic dismissal of these concepts. For Rorty, the goal of our epistemic practices should not be to achieve an objective view, one that tries to represent things as they are 'in themselves,' but rather to attain a view of (...) things that can gain as much inter-subjective agreement as possible. In Rorty's language, we need to replace the aim of objectivity with that of solidarity. While the New Pragmatists agree with Rorty's 'humanist' and .. (shrink)
One of the most influential contemporary philosophers, Hilary Putnam's involvement in philosophy spans philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, ontology and epistemology and logic. This edited volume explores Putnam's contribution to the contemporary realist and pragmatist debate and includes Putnam's comments on each issue raised.
What is called legal pragmatism today is very different from the older style of legal pragmatism traditionally associated with Oliver Wendell Holmes; and there is much that is worthwhile on the conception of the law revealed by reading Holmes's The Path of the Law in the light of the classical pragmatist tradition of Peirce, James, and Dewey. Here, reflections on the varieties of pragmatism - philosophical and legal, old and new - will be wrapped around an exploration (...) of Holmes's legal philosophy and the strengths and weaknesses of his arguments. (shrink)
: This paper discusses critically W.V. Quine's relation to the tradition of pragmatism. Even though Quine is often regarded as a pragmatist, it is far from clear what his commitment to pragmatism actually amounts to. It is argued that while there are pragmatist elements in Quine's position, this is not sufficient to classify him as a pragmatist in any strong historical sense; indeed, he was not even clear himself what it means to be a pragmatist. It is also (...) shown that neither Quine's philosophy nor pragmatism are as anti-metaphysical as has sometimes been thought. In order to enrich the picture of Quine's place in the pragmatist tradition, some neopragmatist criticisms of his ideas (e.g., by Hilary Putnam and Richard Rorty) are also discussed. (shrink)
This paper has two separate aims, with obvious links between them. First, to present Charles S. Peirce and the pragmatist movement in a historical framework which stresses the close connections of pragmatism with the mainstream of philosophy; second, to deal with a particular controversial issue, that of the supposed logicistic orientation of Peirce's work.
Popper’s Critical Rationalism presents Popper’s views on science, knowledge, and inquiry, and examines the significance and tenability of these in light of recent developments in philosophy of science, philosophy of probability, and epistemology. It develops a fresh and novel philosophical position on science, which employs key insights from Popper while rejecting other elements of his philosophy. -/- Central theses include: -/- Crucial questions about scientific method arise at the level of the group, rather than that of the individual. -/- Although (...) criticism is vital for science, dogmatism is important too. -/- Belief in scientific theories is permissible even in the absence of evidence in their favour. -/- The aim of science is to eliminate false theories. -/- Critical rationalism can be understood as a form of virtue epistemology -/- Contents: -/- Ch.1 Comprehensive rationalism, critical rationalism, and pancritical rationalism -- Ch.2 Induction and corroboration -- Ch.3 Corroboration and the interpretation of probability -- Ch.4 Corroboration, tests, and predictivism -- Ch.5 Corroboration and Duhem's thesis -- Ch.6 The roles of criticism and dogmatism in science: a group level view -- Ch.7 The aim of science and its evolution -- Ch.8 Thoughts and findings. (shrink)
This paper argues that communitarian philosophy can be an important philosophic resource for feminist thinkers, particularly when considered in the light of Jane Addams's (1860-1935) feminist-pragmatism. Addams's communitarianism requires progressive change as well as a moral duty to seek out diverse voices. Contrary to some contemporary communitarians, Addams extends her concept of community to include interdependent global communities, such as the global community of women peace workers.
Deconstruction and pragmatism constitute two of the major intellectual influences on the contemporary theoretical scene--influences personified in the work of Jacques Derrida and Richard Rorty. The purpose of this volume is to bring deconstruction and pragmatism into critical confrontation with one another through staging a debate between Derrida and Rorty, itself based on discussions that took place at the College International de Philosophie in Paris in 1993.
Mark Johnston claims the pragmatist theory of truth is inconsistent with the way we actually employ and talk about that concept. He is, however, sympathetic enough to attempt to rescue its respectable core using ‘response-dependence’, a revisionary form of which he advocates as a method for clarifying various philosophically significant concepts. But Johnston has misrepresented pragmatism; it does not require rescuing, and as I show here, his ‘missing explanation argument’ against pragmatism therefore fails. What Johnston and other critics (...) including Putnam have overlooked is the distinctive nature of the pragmatist strategy, specifically, that it is non-reductive, a characteristic it shares with a more promising form of response-dependence; what Johnston calls ‘Descriptive Protagoreanism’ (DP). In this paper I offer a defence of pragmatism and show how it might be re-articulated as a form of DP. (shrink)
Pragmatism, Postmodernism and the Future of Philosophy is a vigorous and dynamic confrontation with the task and temperament of philosophy today. In this energetic and far-reaching new book, Stuhr draws persuasively on the resources of the pragmatist tradition of James and Dewey, and critically engages the work of Continental philosophers like Adorno, Foucault, and Deleuze, to explore fundamental questions of how we might think and live differently in the future. Along the way, the book addresses important issues in public (...) policy, university administration, spirituality, and the notion of community and its meaning in a global world of difference. This book is essential reading for anyone concerned with the future of philosophy, and the ways in which philosophical thinking can help us live better, more fulfilling lives. (shrink)
Introduction -- Inquiry as the logic of practical reasoning -- From reasoning to judgment -- Expressive inquiry -- The public sphere -- Pragmatism, pluralism, and the fact of relativism -- A pragmatic theory of objectivity -- Why justification matters? -- Pragmatism as an epistemology of practice.
Jürgen Habermas is one of the most important thinkers of this century. His work has been highly influential not only in philosophy, but particularly in the fields of politics, sociology and law. This is the first collection that explores the connections between his body of work and North America's biggest philosophical movement, pragmatism. Habermas and Pragmatism investigates the influences of pragmatism on Habermas' thought in a collection of stellar essays with contributions by Habermas himself, leading representatives of (...)pragmatism, as well as critical and legal theorists. The essays cover a range of subjects including philosophy of language, democracy, nature of rationality and social theory as well as the relation of major figures such as Hegel, Pierce, Mead and Dewey to Habermas and pragmatism. (shrink)
This article explores Galen's analysis of and response to the Rationalist and Empiricist medical sects. It argues that his interest in their debate concerning the epistemology of medicine and anatomy was key to his advancement of an experimental methodology.
This survey article discusses the pragmatist tradition in twentieth century philosophy of science. Pragmatism, originating with Charles Peirce's writings on the pragmatic maxim in the 1870s, is a background both for scientific realism and, via the views of William James and John Dewey, for the relativist and/or constructivist forms of neopragmatism that have often been seen as challenging the very ideas of scientific rationality and objectivity. The paper shows how the issue of realism arises in pragmatist philosophy of science (...) and how some pragmatists, classical and modern, have attempted to deal with it. Various dimensions of the realism dispute are thus discussed, especially realism as contrasted to instrumentalism and realism as contrasted to relativism/constructivism. It is argued that the pragmatist tradition cannot avoid these tensions but is largely constituted by them. (shrink)
The book will prove an invaluable source for philosophers and philosophy students, as well as for scholars from other disciplines (e.g., history, political science, sociology, diversity studies, and gender and race studies) to begin understanding the dynamic relationship in thinking between the two Americas. In addition to documenting the results of a new and thriving area of research, it can also function as a primer to direct and provoke further inquiry. -/- Its essays, from North American, Spanish, and Latin American (...) scholars, fill a void in the humanities and introduce a number of Hispanic pragmatists who have not been included in standard pragmatist texts. (shrink)
Pragmatist Metaphysics proposes a pragmatist re-articulation of the nature, aims and methods of metaphysics. Rather than regarding metaphysics as a ‘first philosophy’, an inquiry into the world independent of human perspectives, the pragmatist views metaphysics as an inquiry into categorizations of reality laden with human practices. Insofar as our categorizations of reality are practice-laden, they are also, inevitably, value-laden. Sami Pihlström argues that metaphysics does not, then, study the world’s ‘own’ categorial structure, but a structure we, through our conceptual and (...) practical activities, impose on the reality we experience and interact with. Engaging with the classical American pragmatists, in particular William James, and neopragmatists, including Hilary Putnam, the author seeks to correct long-held misconceptions regarding the nature of the relationship between metaphysics and pragmatism. He argues that a coherent metaphysical alternative to the currently fashionable realist metaphysics emerges from pragmatism and that pragmatism itself should be reinterpreted in a metaphysically serious manner. Moreover, the book argues that, from a pragmatist perspective, metaphysics must be inextricably linked with ethics. (shrink)
In this new contribution to moral theory, Todd Lekan argues for a pragmatist conception of morality as an evolving, educational, and fallible practice of everyday life. Drawing on the work of John Dewey, Lekan asserts that moral norms are neither timeless truths nor subjective whims, but habits transmitted through practices. Like the habits that make up medicine or engineering, moral habits are subject to rational evaluation and change according to new challenges and circumstances.
This work first appeared as Sidney Hook's dissertation, afterward quickly published by Open Court in 1927, the same year Hook began his long career at New York University. Heretofore difficult to find, it now appears as a handsome and timely reprint, carrying John Dewey's original "Introductory Word," and providing opportunity to look back at the pragmatist tradition and the controversial role of metaphysics in it.
Pragmatism -- From The meaning of truth -- From Psychology, briefer course -- From The will to believe and other essays in popular philosophy -- From Talks to teachers on psychology, and to students on some of life's ideals -- Address at the centenary of Ralph Waldo Emerson -- A world of pure experience -- Is radical empiricism solipsistic?
The dormancy of American pragmatism is over. At least, this is what numerous articles and books have unequivocally stated in the decades since Richard Rorty gave up his belief in orthodox analytical epistemology and settled into his own brand of John Dewey's antifoundational epistemology. Even though Rorty's interpretation and manipulation of Dewey have been controversial, we are all the better for the revival of discourse around what pragmatism was, is, and will be. Robert Westbrook's Democratic Hope: Pragmatism (...) and the Politics of Truth (2005), a recent contribution to this revival, clearly demonstrates the value of a vibrant and robust tradition of pragmatism to American intellectual and public life. The depth of knowledge and passion for the subject matter that made Westbrook's magnum opus, John Dewey and American Democracy (1991), a landmark study are on display in this text as well. In both works, what makes... (shrink)
The article expresses skepticism on the alleged affinity between Hegel’s theory of conceptuality and conceptual pragmatism. Despite the intriguing philosophical impetus underlying the latter, the author formulates doubts about its compatibility with logical and metaphysical principles of absolute idealism. The criticism is articulated in four theses: (1) pragmatism’s concerns with (ultimately empirical) concept-acquisition and concept-application are largely alien to Hegel’s logical-metaphysical theory of conceptuality; (2) the interchangeability of ‘word’ and ‘concept’ in the pragmatist discussion is incompatible with Hegel’s (...) notion of thinking; (3) the distinction of Vertsandesbestimmung and Vernunftbegriff , while ignored in practice in the pragmatist approach, is pivotal to Hegel’s understanding of the nature of conceptuality; (4) finally, pragmatism’s use of the recognition-thesis from the Phenomenology of Spirit ignores the noncontractarian, non-negotiative function of the same in Hegel’s work. Key Words: concept • consciousness • contractarianism • individuality • reason • recognition • singularity • subject • subjection. (shrink)
Mainstream philosophy of science has embraced an “empiricist” approach to scientific method. To be slightly more precise, I venture that most philosophers of science today would endorse the view that experience is the source of most scientific knowledge. The aim of this essay will be to challenge the consensus, by showing how we cannot and should not abandon all elements of the “rationalist” tradition, a tradition often identified with philosophers such as Descartes. There are several elements frequently identified with (...) “rationalist” science (Stump, 2005): questioning of sense experience, the attempt to rethink the “metaphysical” foundations of one’s science, using either thought experiment, or appealing to demonstrative arguments purporting to establish ‘necessary’ truths, often using either mathematics or geometry, and appeal to “virtues” not usually considered “strictly empirical,” such as simplicity. This essay explores the effective deployment of such considerations in the history and current practice of science. (shrink)
A Companion to Pragmatism, comprised of 38 newly commissioned essays, provides comprehensive coverage of one of the most vibrant and exciting fields of philosophy today. Unique in depth and coverage of classical figures and their philosophies as well as pragmatism as a living force in philosophy. Chapters include discussions on philosophers such as John Dewey, Jürgen Habermas and Hilary Putnam.
This short paper summarizes the main line of argument in my book, *A Pragmatist Philosophy of Democracy* (Routledge, 2007), which is the subject of a forthcoming symposium issue of the journal *Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society*.
Peirce claims in his Lectures on Pragmatism [CP 5.196] that “If you carefully consider the question of pragmatism you will see that it is nothing else than the question of the logic of abduction;” and further “no effect of pragmatism which is consequent upon its effect on abduction can go to show that pragmatism is anything more than a doctrine concerning the logic of abduction.” Plausibly, there is, at best, a quasi-logic of abduction, which properly issues (...) in our best means for the methodological evaluation and ordering of (yet untested) hypotheses or theories. There is always a range of explanatory innovations that may be proposed, from more conservative to less conservative; and it is important, in light of what Peirce has to say on the relation of abduction to pragmatism, that in ruling out “wild guessing,” attention be initially directed to more conservative proposals. Still conservatism, which we might understand in terms of Peircean continuity, is sometimes justly sacrificed for greater comprehension or overall simplicity of approach. This paper explores the relationships among Peircean abduction and pragmatism, the “theoretical virtues” approach to the evaluation of hypotheses, and contextual constraint on the scientific imagination. (shrink)
Russell Goodman examines the curious reemergence of pragmatism in a field dominated in the past decades by phenomenology, logic, positivism, and deconstruction. With contributions from major contemporary and classical thinkers such as Cornel West, Richard Rorty, Nancy Fraser, Charles Sanders Peirce, and Ralph Waldo Emerson Russell has gathered an impressive chorus of philosophical voices that reexamine the origins and complexities of neo-pragmatism. The contributors discuss the relationship between pragmatism and literary theory, phenomenology, existentialism, and the work of (...) Ralph Waldo Emerson. They question the meaning of pragmatics, what it is to be practical, and ask provocative questions such as: what is reading? and whether or not democracy is a precondition for the functioning of intelligence. This work places this reemergent and interesting neo-development in its proper context and will provide readers with a strong sense of the movement's foundations, history, and subtlities. (shrink)
“The most likely use for Haack’s volume will be in introductory pragmatism courses and it is eminently appropriate for this task. However, others who would wish to speak out about pragmatism authoritatively would do well to go through the book from cover to cover. Outside of philosophy, the volume provides an introduction to a vital aspect of what philosophy has to offer to other disciplines, psychology among them....it is hard to think what could have been done to improve (...) upon the collection.”. (shrink)
The dramatic resurgence of American Pragmatism was one of the most important intellectual developments in the Twentieth Century. As the influence of this revitalised movement continues to spread across a variety of disciplines ranging from law to literary theory, the time is ripe for a considered reassessment of both its origins in the works of Charles Peirce, William James and John Dewey and its later revival in the hands of thinkers such as Richard Rorty and Hilary Putnam. This three-volume (...) collection gathers together the necessary material for just such an 'assessment'. As such, it will an invaluable research tool for scholars and students who need to understand the significance of Pragmatism's unique place in the history of ideas. Alan Malachowski is an Honorary Lecturer in Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, University of East Anglia. (shrink)
Can we criticize those who hold beliefs which are likely to be wrong? Or must we abandon notions of truth and objectivity and claim that certain beliefs are best for us while incompatible beliefs are best for others? Truth, Politics, Morality addresses this crucial issue and its implications for democracy by arguing that the notion of truth ought to be returned to the center of moral and political philosophy. Cheryl Misak persuasively makes a case for a certain (...) kind of pragmatism in which a true belief is one that could not be improved by inquiry, nor defeated by experience or argument. Her compelling discussion makes sense of the idea that, despite conflict, pluralism, and the expression of difference, our moral and political beliefs aim at truth and can be subject to justified criticism. (shrink)
Pragmatism has enjoyed a considerable revival in the latter part of the twentieth century, but what precisely constitutes pragmatism remains a matter of dispute. In reconstructing the pragmatic tradition in political philosophy, Matthew Festenstein rejects the idea that it is a single, cohesive doctrine. His incisive analysis brings out the commonalities and shared concerns among contemporary pragmatists while making clear their differences in how they would resolve those concerns. His study begins with the work of John Dewey and (...) the moral and psychological conceptions that shaped his philosophy. Here Festenstein lays out the major philosophic issues with which first Dewey, and then his heirs, would grapple. The book's second part traces how Dewey's approach has been differently developed, especially in the work of three contemporary pragmatic thinkers: Richard Rorty, Jurgen Habermas, and Hilary Putnam. This first full-length critical study of the relationship between the pragmatist tradition and political philosophy fills a significant gap in contemporary thought. (shrink)
Rejected options -- The perennial philosophy and its enemy -- Pragmatism reclaimed -- The core conception: constraint, incompleteness, resistance, reinvention -- Time and experience: antinomies of the impersonal -- The reality of time: the transformation of transformation -- Self-consciousness: humanity imagines -- What then should we do? -- Society: the perpetual invention of the future -- Politics: democracy as anti-fate -- A moment of reform: the reinvention of social democracy -- Religion: the self awakened -- Philosophy: beyond superscience and (...) self-help. (shrink)
Pragmatism has been called America's only major contribution to philosophy. But since its birth was announced a century ago in 1898 by William James, pragmatism has played a vital role in almost every area of American intellectual and cultural life, inspiring judges, educators, politicians, poets, and social prophets. Now the major texts of American pragmatism, from William James and John Dewey to Richard Rorty and Cornel West, have been brought together and reprinted unabridged. From the first generation (...) of pragmatists, including the Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and the founder of semiotics, Charles Sanders Peirce, to the leading figures in the contemporary pragmatist revival, including the philosopher Hilary Putnam, the jurist Richard Posner, and the literary critic Richard Poirier, all the contributors to this volume are remarkable for the wit and vigor of their prose and the mind-clearing force of their ideas. Edited and with an Introduction by Louis Menand, Pragmatism: A Reader will provide both the general reader and the student of American culture with excitement and pleasure. (shrink)
This book is a wide-ranging examination of rationalist thought in philosophy from ancient times to the present day. Written by a superbly qualified cast of philosophers. Critically analyses the concept of rationalism. Focuses principally on the golden age of rationalism in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Also covers ancient rationalism, nineteenth-century rationalism, and rationalist themes in recent thought. Organised chronologically. Various philosophical methods and viewpoints are represented.
In Victorian Modernism: Pragmatism and the Varieties of Aesthetic Experience Jessica Feldman sheds a pragmatist light on the relation between the Victorian age and Modernism by dislodging truistic notions of Modernism as an art of crisis, rupture, elitism and loss. She examines aesthetic sites of Victorian Modernism - including workrooms, parlours, friendships, and family relations as well as printed texts and paintings - as they develop through interminglings and continuities as well as gaps and breaks. Examining the works of (...) John Ruskin (art critic and social thinker), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (poet and painter), Augusta Evans (best-selling domestic novelist,) and William James (philosopher and psychologist), Feldman relates them to selected twentieth-century creations. She reveals these sentimental, domestic and sublime works to be pragmatist explorations of aesthetic realms. This study, which leads Modernism back into the Victorian age, will be of interest to scholars of literature, art history, and philosophy. (shrink)
Beyond Solidarity is an impassioned argument for a sharable morality in a world increasingly fractured along lines of difference. Giles Gunn asks how human solidarity can be reconceived when its expressions have become increasingly exceptionalist and outmoded, and when the pressures of globalization divide as much as they unify. He finds the terms for answering these questions in a more inclusive, cosmopolitan pragmatism--one willing to explore fundamental values without recourse to absolutist arguments. Drawing on the work of William and (...) Henry James, John Dewey, Primo Levi, Richard Rorty, and many others, as well as postcolonial writing, Jewish literature of the Holocaust, and the cultural and religious experience of African Americans in slavery, Gunn points pragmatism in a transnational direction and shows how it can better account for the consequences of diversity. Beyond Solidarity , then, is a study of the difference that difference makes in a globalized world. (shrink)
This book is the published version of Sidney Hook's dissertation, written under John Dewey at Columbia University. It helped move American pragmatism in the direction of pragmatic realism. The book appears with an Introduction by Dewey.
The only obvious successor in our day to the philosophies of Jefferson and Emerson and Whitman is the "pragmatism" of William James and John Dewey. All of the critics from whose writings selections have been made for this volume agree that Pragmatism is an indigenous American philosophy; most of them would add that it is the philosophy which best expresses the "climate of opinion" peculiar to American civilization. Their criticisms, therefore, take two forms: they may argue that, granted (...)pragmatism is a native philosophy, it is but a partial and inadequate representation of certain trends within our culture; or they may contend that pragmatism is only too faithful a transcription of American life. Critics of the first sort will disparage those particular traits of our society which they think pragmatism represents; critics of the second kind will deliver a wholesale condemnation of"Americanism." In effect, therefore, all of these writers in their discussions of the pragmatic philosophy are censuring what is distinctive of American culture itself,in some of its aspects or as a whole. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- The Roots of Diversity in Pragmatist Thought--James Campbell * The Context of Diversity vs. The Problem of Diversity--William J. Gavin * Reading Dewey and Mouffe on Democratic Norms--Larry A. Hickman * Cultivating Pragmatist Cosmopolitanism: The Diverse Democratic Community after Huntington and Benhabib--Judith M. Green * Democracy: Practice as Needed--Michael Eldridge * Dewey and Levinas on Pluralism, the Other, and Democracy--Jim Garrison * Reconstruction of Philosophy and Inquiry into Human Affairs: Deweyan Pragmatism in Dialogue with (...) the Postmodern Sociology of Zygmunt Bauman--Stefan Neubert and Kersten Reich * Diverse Communities-Dewey's Theory of Democracy as a Challenge for Foucault, Bourdieu, and Rorty--Kersten Reich * The Future of Democratic Diversity. (shrink)
Isaac Levi, currently John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, has explored the principles of American pragmatism in greater depth and more consistency than others before him. The result is a sophisticated and powerful philosophical system whose key elements stand in stark opposition not only to current mainstream epistemology, but also to the positions of other contemporary authors writing in the same pragmatist tradition. The essays in this timely volume, written by some of philosophy's finest scholars, contribute (...) substantially to the understanding and appraisal of Levi's work. (shrink)
Rationalism, my target, says that in order to have perceptual knowledge, such as that your hand is making a fist, you must “antecedently” (or “independently”) know that skeptical scenarios don’t obtain, such as the skeptical scenario that you are in the Matrix. I motivate the specific form of Rationalism shared by, among others, White (Philos Stud 131:525–557, 2006) and Wright (Proc Aristot Soc Suppl Vol 78:167–212, 2004), which credits us with warrant to believe (or “accept”, in Wright’s terms) that our (...) senses are reliably veridical, where that warrant is one we enjoy by default, that is, without relying on any evidence or engaging in any positive argument. The problem with this form of Rationalism is that, even if you have default knowledge that your senses are reliable, this is not adequate to rule out every kind of skeptical scenario. The problem is created by one-off skeptical scenarios, scenarios that involve a highly reliable perceiver who, by a pure fluke, has a one-off, non-veridical experience. I claim you cannot infer that your present perceptual experience is veridical just on the basis of knowledge of your general reliability. More generally, if you infer that the present F is G, just on the basis of your knowledge that most Fs are Gs, this is what I call statistical inference, and, as I argue, statistical inference by itself does not generate knowledge. I defend this view of statistical inference against objections, including the objection that radical skepticism about our ordinary inductive knowledge will follow unless statistical inference generates knowledge. (shrink)
Hamner seeks to discover what makes pragmatism uniquely American. She argues that the inextricably American character of pragmatism of such figures as C.S. Peirce and William James lies in its often understated affirmation of America as a uniquely religious country with a God-given mission and populated by God-fearing citizens.
Through an analysis of the US Supreme Court's case Heller this paper argues that legal process can be pragmatically reconceptualized so as to create information necessary to decide complex social issues. This is in contrast to other more standard conceptions of law as more emphasizing what information ought to be excluded.
Pragmatism has affected American historical writing since the early twentieth century. Such contemporaries and students of Peirce, James, and Dewey as Frederick Jackson Turner, W. E. B. Du Bois, James Harvey Robinson, Charles Beard, Mary Beard, and Carl Becker drew on pragmatism when they fashioned what was called the “new history.” They wanted to topple inherited assumptions about the past and replace positivist historical methods with the pragmatists' model of a community of inquiry. Such widely read mid-twentieth-century historians (...) as Merle Curti, Henry Steele Commager, and Richard Hofstadter embraced the perspectivalism, fallibilism, and instrumentalism of the pragmatists, thereby helping to sustain the tradition during its nadir in American philosophy departments. Many historians have been drawn to the study of pragmatism during its recent renaissance; others have advanced pragmatist-inspired philosophies of history. Through such prominent contemporary historians as Thomas Haskell, David Hollinger, and Joyce Appleby, the ideas of Pierce, James, and Dewey continue to influence the historical profession. (shrink)
The anti-sceptical relativism and self-conscious rhetoric of the pragmatist tradition, which began with the Older Sophists of Ancient Greece and developed through an American tradition including William James and John Dewey has attracted new attention in the context of late twentieth-century postmodernist thought. At the same time there has been a more general renewal of interest across a wide range of humanistic and social science disciplines in rhetoric itself: language use, writing and speaking, persuasion, figurative language, and the effect of (...) texts. This book, written by leading scholars, explores the various ways in which rhetoric, sophistry and pragmatism overlap in their current theoretical and political implications, and demonstrates how they contribute both to a rethinking of the human sciences within the academy and to larger debates over cultural politics. (shrink)
In this timely book, Eddie S. Glaude Jr., one of our nation’s rising young African American intellectuals, makes an impassioned plea for black America to address its social problems by recourse to experience and with an eye set on the promise and potential of the future, rather than the fixed ideas and categories of the past. Central to Glaude’s mission is a rehabilitation of philosopher John Dewey, whose ideas, he argues, can be fruitfully applied to a renewal of African American (...) politics. According to Glaude, Dewey’s pragmatism, when attentive to the darker dimensions of life—or what we often speak of as the blues—can address many of the conceptual problems that plague contemporary African American discourse. How blacks think about themselves, how they imagine their own history, and how they conceive of their own actions can be rendered in ways that escape bad ways of thinking that assume a tendentious political unity among African Americans simply because they are black, or that short-circuit imaginative responses to problems confronting actual black people. Drawing deeply on black religious thought and literature, In a Shade of Blue seeks to dislodge such crude and simplistic thinking, and replace it with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for black life in all its variety and intricacy. Only when black political leaders acknowledge such complexity, Glaude argues, can the real-life sufferings of many African Americans be remedied. Heady, inspirational, and brimming with practical wisdom, In a Shade of Blue is a remarkable work of political commentary on a scale rarely seen today. To follow its trajectory is to learn how African Americans arrived at this critical moment in their history and to envision where they might head in the twenty-first century. (shrink)
International Perspectives on Pragmatism combines, in a very appealing manner, a pragmatist approach of democracy with practical politics and history of ideas. The result is a meditation on contemporary society, while in the background there is a continuous debate on the concept of democracy, as defining mark of Western culture. Both its critics and its supporters talk about a decay of democracy, which would not justify an idealist perspective anymore. Arguments for this transpire from both the practical politics section (...) of the volume, as well as from the second part that focuses more on the theoretical side of the discussion on democracy. On a more practical direction, there are contributors maintaining the idea that democracy is corrupt (and examples from today’s world are offered), while the theoretical perspective brings up the Rortian view, manifested through the well-known debate between the foundationalist and the anti-foundationalist perspectives. (shrink)
Abstract: The founders of American pragmatism proposed what they regarded as a radical alternative to the philosophical methods and doctrines of their predecessors and contemporaries. Although their central ideas have been understood and applied in some quarters, there remain other areas within which they have been neither appreciated nor appropriated. One of the more pressing of these areas locates a set of problems of knowledge and valuation related to global citizenship. This essay attempts to demonstrate that classical American (...) class='Hi'>pragmatism, because its methods are modeled on successes in the technosciences, offers a set of tools for fostering global citizenship that are more effective than the tools of some of its alternatives. First, pragmatism claims to discover a strain of human commonality that trumps the radical postmodernist emphasis on difference and discontinuity. Second, when pragmatism's theory of truth is coupled with its moderate version of cultural relativism, the more skeptical postmodernist version known as “cognitive” relativism is undercut. (shrink)
Robert Roth, among the first few Catholics to write favorably, even if critically, about American pragmatism, presents here a creative piece of comparative philosophy in which he achieves a long-term goal of attempting a reconciliation between pragmatism and a classical spiritual and religious perspective. The title, Radical Pragmatism, is an adaptation of William James’s "radical empiricism." James had argues that the classical empiricists, Locke and Hume, did not go far enough in their account of experience. They missed (...) some of its most important aspects, namely connections and relations, and as a result they were left with discrete sense data and sense objects. (shrink)
The pragmatist revival of recent decades has in some respects obscured the radical emancipatory potential of Deweyan pragmatism. The author suggests that neo-pragmatists such as Richard Rorty have too often failed to grasp the ways in which Dewey's notion of social intelligence was bound up with the case for participatory democracy, and that recent efforts to bring out the potential of pragmatism for supporting certain forms of feminist and gay critical theory make for a more compelling reconstruction of (...)pragmatism. (shrink)
With the increasing professionalization of philosophy, the question of what constitutes philosophical living has been largely neglected. Now one of the leading philosophers working in the pragmatist tradition aims to recover and elaborate the pragmatic idea of philosophy as a practice of living and a practical guide to living better. "How should one live and how should the practice of philosophy relate to the project of one's life?" Shusterman asks. By way of suggesting answers to this question, Practicing Philosophy offers (...) an analysis of the essential dimensions of the philosophical life as practiced in this century. He explores specific philosophical problems as treated by major twentieth-century pragmatists--Dewey, Goodman, Rorty, and Putnam--as well as by other theorists--Cavell, Habermas, Croce, and Danto--who can be assimilated into the pragmatist tradition. Shusterman concludes with a personal example of critical philosophical living by applying philosophy to the analysis and direction of a central issue in his own life. (shrink)
Here, in a single volume, is a comprehensive and definitive account of pragmatism and classical American philosophy. Pragmatism and Classical American Philosophy, now revised and expanded in this second edition, presents the essential writings of the major philosophers of this tradition: Charles S. Peirce, William James, Josiah Royce, George Santayana, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead. Illuminating introductory essays, written especially for this volume by distinguished scholars of American philosophy, provide biographical and cultural context as well as original (...) critical and interpretive perspectives. This edition also includes all new selections and interpretive essays that situate pragmatism and classical American philosophy in a wider American philosphical context, including: Ralph Waldo Emerson and transcendentalism; Jane Addams, feminism, and writings of American women; Borden Parker Bowne, personalism, and idealism; Alain Locke and Afro-American thought; and John Herman Randall, Jr., nationalism and realism. Up-to-date suggestions for further reading will benefit both introductory and advanced readers. This American intellectual tradition speaks insightfully, creatively, and critically to our contemporary global society and its pressing problems. In unmatched quality and quantity, Pragmatism and Classical American Philosophy provides the resources necessary to understand and act on these insights. (shrink)
This monograph examines the past, present, and potential relationship between American pragmatism and communication research. The contributors provide a bridge between communication studies and philosophy, subjects often developed somewhat in isolation from each other. Addressing topics, such as qualitative and quantitative research, ethics, media research, and feminist studies, the chapters in this volume: *discuss how a pragmatic, Darwinian approach to inquiry has guided and might further guide communication research; *advocate a functional view of communication, based on Dewey's mature notion (...) of transaction; *articulate a pragmatist's aesthetics and connect it to Deweyan democracy; *discuss the similarities and differences between Dewey's notion of inquiry and the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer; *apply accommodation theory, linked to symbolic interactionism and more generally to the social behaviorism of George H. Mead and his followers, to media research; *interpret media-effects evidence in light of pragmatist ideas about inquiry; and *argue that pragmatism theorizes about despair and life's sense of the tragic. This book is written to be readily accessible to students and professional academics within and outside the field of communication studies without extensive training in specialized areas of communication study. (shrink)
David S. Clarke is clearly passionate about pragmatism. In this short, compelling book he explores what he calls "two fundamental claims" of pragmatism. He does this, he explains, with the "conviction that if pragmatism is to continue as a viable force in contemporary philosophy it must incorporate advances in philosophical method introduced by the linguistic philosophers of the past century" (xi). The two fundamental claims that interest Clarke are as follows: that cognitive inquiry and belief are to (...) be understood in terms of their relation to purpose and action rather than as a means of simply satisfying intellectual curiosity; [x] that relationships between belief, purpose, and action within us as individuals and within society at large have parallels in the infrahuman species from which we have evolved. [x–xi] After an... (shrink)
Corrigibilism without solidarity -- Inquiry, deliberation, and method -- Pragmatism and change of view -- Beware of syllogism : statistical reasoning and conjecturing according to Peirce -- Dewey's logic of inquiry -- Wayward naturalism : saving Dewey from himself -- Seeking truth -- The logic of consistency and the logic of truth -- Belief, doubt, and evidentialism -- Induction, abduction, and oracles -- Knowledge as true full belief.