Pragmatism and the Practice of History: From Turner and Du Bois to Today

Metaphilosophy 35 (1-2):202-225 (2004)
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.
Keywords Pragmatism  History
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2004.00313.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,411
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

29 ( #165,773 of 1,924,718 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #308,186 of 1,924,718 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.