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.
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.
The article deals with the social pragmatist approach to the political conception of community, especially in light of the challenges posed by the tendency to view democracy without community and blur the problem and boundaries between conflict and reconciliation. KEY WORDS – Community. Conflict. Democracy. Pragmatism. Reconciliation.
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)
This paper investigates whether philosophers ever regarded the teaching of philosophy as a central concern by considering the first decades of professional associations that ultimately merged into the American Philosophical Association . Before the APA, philosophical education was mostly devoted to the development of the Christian gentleman. Upon its founding, the APA’s first president took the central functions of the APA to promote original investigation, publication, and collaboration, rather than teaching. Despite Creighton’s position that teaching should not play a role (...) in the APA, an investigation of the early years of the APA show that philosophers had some, albeit infrequent, interest in pedagogical issues related to philosophy. Thus, it is argued that the early years of the APA reflect a deep ambivalence toward teaching. (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)
This paper is a response to a series of five papers—by Michael Eldridge, Bruce Kuklick, John Lachs, Erin McKenna, and John Ryder—that examine my recently published volume, A Thoughtful Profession: The Early Years of the American Philosophical Association. It discusses those papers in two phases: What they have to say about the volume's account of the history of the philosophy profession in America, and what they have to say about the present and future of the profession based upon its past. (...) Each of the papers demonstrates a sincere interest in exploring the history or the meaning of the APA. (shrink)
This welcome volume offers a rich presentation of the ideas of Jane Addams (1860–1935), 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” (p. 11) 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)
: This paper is a response to a series of five papers—by Michael Eldridge, Bruce Kuklick, John Lachs, Erin McKenna, and John Ryder—that examine my recently published volume, A Thoughtful Profession: The Early Years of the American Philosophical Association. It discusses those papers in two phases: What they have to say about the volume's account of the history of the philosophy profession in America, and what they have to say about the present and future of the profession based upon its (...) past. Each of the papers demonstrates a sincere interest in exploring the history or the meaning of the APA. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophers seldom make their fundamental beliefs explicit. They prefer, rather, to deal with more narrow, topical questions. Still, their fundamental beliefs remain operative in their work. On a number of occasions over the course of his life, John Dewey gave detailed expositions of the beliefs about experience, education, community, individualism, etc., that he saw underlying his philosophical thought. An exposition and critical examination of some of these beliefs should serve as a useful means for exploring the philosophical meaning of (...) Dewey’s work. (shrink)
America the Philosophical is a slyly funny book, and one that hints at how the last few decades of being a philosopher might have been more interesting. Through its many sub-themes, we are introduced to a philosophical interpretation of America that widens our sense of both philosophy and the meaning of the American experience. All in all, Romano offers us a magnificent, idiosyncratic, disjointed feast, only parts of which I can consider in my own personal response that follows. From one (...) point of view, philosophers are people who find experience intellectually puzzling and try, by thinking on their own and in cooperation with like-minded others, to untangle these puzzles. In this sense, it is surely... (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)
This paper discusses the sense of human fulfillment elaborated in the writings of Wendell Berry. The initial section considers the relationship between freedom and social and geographical rootedness; and the second section considers in greater detail how agriculture and personal fulfillment are intertwined in Berry's work. In the concluding section, consideration is given to the degree to which agriculture may be said to be the proper form of human life.
George Herbert Mead was born at the height of America's bloody Civil War in 1863, the year of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address. He was born in New England, in the small town of South Hadley, Massachusetts; but when he was seven years old his family moved to Oberlin, Ohio, so that his father, Hiram Mead, a Protestant minister, could assume a chair in homiletics at the Oberlin Theological Seminary. After his father's death in 1881, Mead's mother, Elizabeth (...) Storrs Billings Mead, briefly taught at Oberlin College. Mead grew to self-consciousness in this educational atmosphere, amidst the conflict between science and religion over the primacy of efficient or final explanations; and he offers us, in some autobiographical comments, a sense of the difficulties felt by one who saw values on either side: We wished to be free to follow our individual thinking and feeling into an intelligent and sympathetic world without having to bow before incomprehensible dogma or to anticipate the shipwreck of our individual ends and values. We wanted full intellectual freedom and yet the conservation of the values for which had stood Church, State, Science, and Art. (shrink)