The Pragmatism of Frederick L. Will

Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 35 (3):475 - 499 (1999)
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In his later years Frederick Will took a pragmatic approach to the justification of beliefs and norms. Here I trace the development of his pragmatism through his early ordinary language philosophy and subsequent antifoundationalism. I then compare his pragmatic naturalism with Dewey's instrumentalism: while both are pragmatists of the center (not so left-leaning as Rorty and James, for example), Will's realism places him to the right of Dewey. While Will's refreshingly aware that justification is a complex affair, I conclude that Dewey's "center-left" position provides more opportunity for assessing our epistemic norms philosophically



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John Capps
Rochester Institute of Technology

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