The contributors to Pragmatism and the Philosophy of Sport argue that American pragmatism is particularly well suited analyze the experience and development of sport activities. This volume will be a valuable resource in any philosophy of sport class or in a course on pragmatism; it will also be appropriate for kinesiology students. It will give readers a good sense of the themes in the American philosophical tradition as well as those in the burgeoning field of the philosophy of sport.
In a series of ten articles from leading American and European scholars, Pragmatist Epistemologies explores the central themes of epistemology in the pragmatist tradition through a synthesis of new and old pragmatist thought, engaging contemporary issues while exploring from a historical perspective. It opens a new avenue of research in contemporary pragmatism continuous with the main figures of pragmatist tradition and incorporating contemporary trends in philosophy. Students and scholars of American philosophy will find this book indispensable.
In 1905 William James wrote an essay in McClure's Magazine recalling the importance to his own work of the Scottish-born philosopher Thomas Davidson. In the essay, James states that Davidson was "essentially a teacher." What is interesting when one looks at Davidson's life and work is that, for Davidson, teaching does seem to be an essential feature of what it means to be a philosopher. Here, I develop how Davidson construes this linking of philosophy and teaching with a concluding emphasis (...) on the two schools he established: Glenmore, a summer philosophy program in the Adirondacks and the "Breadwinners' College," an open school he began for working persons in New York City. I offer this as a discussion paper so that James's recollection of Davidson's importance to his own work may provoke us to consider how we presently understand the linking of teaching and philosophy. This seems especially appropriate for an academic culture such as ours in which much of our time is spent teaching and in which we are often primarily evaluated by a separate category of professional "research." The American tradition has "lost" any number of its important.. (shrink)
This commentary was suggested to me in part by a colleague's remark that it would be nice if we could make William James's The Varieties of Religious Experience "respectable." The implication was that though there was something redeemable about the book, it somehow wasn't philosophically or scientifically proper. The remark awakened me to—or at least reminded me of—the fact that this has been a traditional take on James's text. As Julius Bixler points out, ridicule began soon after the book was (...) published: "The Varieties of Religious Experience, appearing at about the same time as Ernest Thompson Seton's book of animal stories, was soon nicknamed 'Wild Religions I Have Known'" (1926, 1). My awakening to this attitude—a prevalent if not a pervasive one among contemporary intellectuals—led me to consider that it would be better, and crucially important to James himself, to keep James "unrespectable." James may have been a renegade and... (shrink)
In this engaging book, Douglas Anderson begins with the assumption that philosophy—the Greek love of wisdom—is alive and well in American culture. At the same time, professional philosophy remains relatively invisible. Anderson traverses American life to find places in the wider culture where professional philosophy in the distinctively American tradition can strike up a conversation. How might American philosophers talk to us about our religious experience, or political engagement, or literature—or even, popular music? Anderson’s second aim is to find places (...) where philosophy happens in nonprofessional guises—cultural places such as country music, rock’n roll, and Beat literature. He not only enlarges the tradition of American philosophers such as John Dewey and William James by examining lesser-known figures such as Henry Bugbee and Thomas Davidson, but finds the theme and ideas of American philosophy in some unexpected places, such as the music of Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, and Bruce Springsteen, and the writingsof Jack Kerouac.The idea of “philosophy Americana” trades on the emergent genre of “music Americana,” rooted in traditional themes and styles yet engaging our present experiences. The music is “popular” but not thoroughly driven by economic considerations, and Anderson seeks out an analogous role for philosophical practice, where philosophy and popular culture are co-adventurers in the life of ideas. Philosophy Americana takes seriously Emerson’s quest for the extraordinary in the ordinary and James’s belief that popular philosophy can still be philosophy. (shrink)
Not long before he died, Henry David Thoreau was asked by a friend where religion was to be found in his writings. Thoreau responded by saying that his religiosity pervaded his works but that no one noticed it. This result was enabled by the cultural belief that religiosity entailed formal religion, creeds, fixed rituals, and overt discussions of God or gods. Thoreau’s point—a development of Emerson’s “Divinity School Address”—was to show the mistakenness of this compartmentalization of one’s religious life. For (...) Thoreau, genuine religiosity pervades and marks every aspect of one’s being—body and soul. “Our life,” Thoreau wrote in his journal in 1840, “is but the Soul made known by its fruits, the .. (shrink)
In The Grace and the Severity of the Ideal, Victor Kestenbaum swims against the current of Dewey scholarship. He declares for and gives close articulation to the importance of transcendence in the philosophy of John Dewey. The guiding thread of the book is "the proposal that Dewey never outgrew his idealistic period. His philosophical achievement is not to be located in his naturalism but in the frontiers along which the natural and the transcendental touch" (137). Kestenbaum does not argue that (...) Dewey defends a supernatural sense of transcendence; instead, he documents the modes of transcendence that, for Dewey, reveal themselves within the flow of experience. This is a learned and carefully developed book, one that will provoke pragmatists to think carefully about how growth, self-revision, and... (shrink)
This article borrows from the american tradition of emerson, james, and peirce to argue that religious belief may properly originate in feeling, willing, or reasoning. i also maintain that such belief is not consummated until all three aspects of one's being--feeling, willing, and thinking--have been addressed. this approach both democratizes the possibility of religious belief and requires of full belief that it be applicable to all aspects of one's life.
I assess some of the ways in which Santayana takes philosophy to be a personal, poetic endeavor. In doing so, I also suggest that in some ways his work in the realm of spirit is more of a philosophy of the personal than much of the work of the American pragmatists.
The task at hand is to review work on the history of early American pragmatism from the last ten years. However, writing on the history of pragmatism presents us with a different problem than, say, dealing with historical accounts of Mill’s Logic. The meaning of ‘pragmatism’ is routinely contested and, likewise, who is to count as a pragmatist is contested. The issue, of course, arose soon after William James named “pragmatism” in his 1898 talk at Berkeley titled “Philosophical Conceptions and (...) Practical Results.” The discussions of pragmatism that ensued in journals soon thereafter marked James, Charles Peirce, John Dewey, and F. C. S. Schiller as pragmatists. There were, as well, a number of “friends” of pragmatism such as Addison Moore. There were also clear-cut opponents of pragmatism including the likes of Paul Carus and James E. Creighton. But issues quickly muddied the waters. American idealist Josiah Royce, objecting to what he took to be the intellectually loose Jamesian-Schillerian strand of pragmatism, named them ‘pure pragmatists’, and then... (shrink)
This article examines peirce's technical use of metaphor. in doing so it looks at certain aspects of his semiotics and, in particular, his division of signs into icons, indexes, and symbols. the upshoot is that, for peirce, metaphor plays a central role in artistic thought while analogy is central to scientific thought.
To read any book by Paul Weiss is to enter into an ongoing philosophical discussion. Emphatics is no exception. Here Weiss takes up some issues from previous work but from a new angle of vision. Much of what he says also moves beyond the content of earlier writings, which is as it should be. "A creative, systematic philosopher," Weiss says, "is somewhat like a poet rewriting a long poem, preserving some parts of earlier versions in later ones. What has been (...) done is not invalidated, but moved beyond" (37). Another characteristic Weissian feature marks Emphatics: it is difficult to read. The ideas themselves are difficult, and Weiss doesn't go out of his way to coddle his reader. Serving as... (shrink)
Fourteen philosophers share their experience teaching Peirce to undergraduates in a variety of settings and a variety of courses. The latter include introductory philosophy courses as well as upper-level courses in American philosophy, philosophy of religion, logic, philosophy of science, medieval philosophy, semiotics, metaphysics, etc., and even an upper-level course devoted entirely to Peirce. The project originates in a session devoted to teaching Peirce held at the 2007 annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. The session, (...) organized by James Campbell and Richard Hart, was co-sponsored by the American Association of Philosophy Teachers. (shrink)