William James has long been recognized as a central figure in the American philosophic tradition, and his ideas continue to play a significant role in contemporary thinking. Yet there has never been a comprehensive exploration of the thought of this seminal philosopher and psychologist. In Experiencing William James, renowned scholar James Campbell provides the fuller and more complete analysis that James scholarship has long needed. Commentators typically address only pieces of James's thought or aspects of his vision, often in an (...) attempt to make the task of understanding James seem easier than it is or else to dismiss him as a philosophically unprepared if well-meaning amateur. The isolated nature of these examinations, too often divorced from the original contexts, badly hinders and even distorts their conclusions. Focusing on James's own ideas rather than his critiques of others, and drawing from a wealth of scholarship that includes the completed editions of his writings and correspondence, Experiencing William James provides an invaluable, comprehensive view of James as he participates in and advances the pragmatic spirit that is at the core of American philosophy. Taking the whole of the man's thinking into account, this book offers the richest perspective so far on this great but not fully comprehended intellectual. (shrink)
This paper begins with a memoir of the author’s interactions with Joseph Margolis that delineates both Margolis’s importance as a teacher and their disagreements on aspects of American philosophy. It then turns to Margolis’s discussions of pragmatism as a philosophical movement, with an emphasis on his understanding of John Dewey. The paper considers, third, Margolis’s account of the decline and rebirth of pragmatism, the latter process attributed largely to the work of Richard Rorty. The paper concludes with an examination of (...) what it sees as Margolis’s most valuable work: his explorations of the nature of the self and of human society. (shrink)
With the centenary of the publication of William James's Pragmatism (1907) fast approaching, this paper explores two questions. First: what role did James's volume play in the development of the Pragmatic movement?; second: how powerful a force was that movement within American academic philosophy? With regard to the first question, this paper suggests that Pragmatism was not the font of the movement, but in fact appeared near its end; with regard to the second question, this paper suggests that the Pragmatic (...) movement, while of great importance in American society, was itself only a minor moment within professionalizing American philosophy. (shrink)
In The Community Reconstructs James Campbell explores the Pragmatists' contributions to American social thought, drawing upon the writings of William James, John Dewey, George Herbert Mead, James Hayden Tufts, and their various critics.
Explores the Pragmatists' contributions to American social thought, drawing upon the writings of William James, John Dewey, George Herbert Mead, James Hayden Tufts, and their various critics. This work also explores the Pragmatic analysis of society's potential for ongoing intelligent inquiry and cooperative evaluation to address social ills.
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)
This paper discusses aspects of the thought of the American patriot and thinker, Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). At the present time, Franklin is too often regarded primarily as a scientific amateur whose tinkerings produced nothing of lasting importance, or as a self-centered prig of interest only to others like himself. In reality, Franklin was a thoughtful and concerned individual attempting to advance the common weal, both through his personal struggle toward moral perfection and through the institutionalization of the scientific spirit of (...) fallibilism, publicity, and the unquestioned appeal to experience as the sole means of deciding policies. I hope to suggest the ongoing value of Franklin's work in the course of my paper. (shrink)
While rooted in careful study of Mead’s original writings and transcribed lectures and the historical context in which that work was carried out, the papers in this volume have brought Mead’s work to bear on contemporary issues in metaphysics, epistemology, cognitive science, and social and political philosophy.
This welcome volume offers a rich presentation of the ideas of Jane Addams, with emphases upon her contributions to the Pragmatic movement. It is divided into two parts. Chapters 1–4 “provide a historical and theoretical foundation for Addams’s social philosophy,” and chapters 5–9 “discuss how Addams applied her social theories to a variety of social issues” including pacifism, race and diversity, socialism, education broadly conceived, and religion. There is also an introduction, an afterword, and an extensive bibliography. It is the (...) author’s hope that his study will spur further work on the role of Addams, and other women, in the history of Pragmatism and American philosophy; and I anticipate.. (shrink)
The philosopher John J. McDermott comes out of the long American tradition that takes the aim of philosophical inquiry to be interpretation of the open meanings of experience, so that we might all live fuller and richer lives. Here, the authors of these nine essays explore his highly original interpretations of philosophy's various questions about our shared existence. How are we to understand the nature of American culture and to carry forward its important contributions? What is the personal importance of (...) embodiment, of living in the realization of death? How does our physical and personal environment nourish bodies and spirits? What does the deliberate pursuit of a morality offer us? How can we carry forward the fundamental tasks of education to enable those who follow us to use our shared past to address their civic and spiritual problems? What are the possibilities for community? Together, these essays offer a clear, multi-layered understanding of the compelling vision that McDermott has presented over the years. In an Afterword, McDermott responds to the authors' queries and concerns, offering a restatement of his understanding of the American philosopher's task. These essays indicate, and McDermott's response confirms, that for him philosophy is not a purely cerebral activity. Philosophy is, rather, an intellectual means of exploring the fullness of human experience, and it functions best when it operates in the context of the broad sweep of the humanities. Similarly, for McDermott the self is no given substantial entity. On the contrary, it is relational, rooted geographically and socially in its place and its fellows, and damaged when these life-giving processes fail. Further, McDermott does not accept any ultimate canopy of meaning. The human journey is a personal project within which provisional meanings must be created to sustain our advance. (shrink)