Here, in a single volume, is a comprehensive and definitive account of pragmatism and classical American philosophy. Pragmatism and Classical American Philosophy, now revised and expanded in this second edition, presents the essential writings of the major philosophers of this tradition: Charles S. Peirce, William James, Josiah Royce, George Santayana, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead. Illuminating introductory essays, written especially for this volume by distinguished scholars of American philosophy, provide biographical and cultural context as well as original critical and (...) interpretive perspectives. This edition also includes all new selections and interpretive essays that situate pragmatism and classical American philosophy in a wider American philosphical context, including: Ralph Waldo Emerson and transcendentalism; Jane Addams, feminism, and writings of American women; Borden Parker Bowne, personalism, and idealism; Alain Locke and Afro-American thought; and John Herman Randall, Jr., nationalism and realism. Up-to-date suggestions for further reading will benefit both introductory and advanced readers. This American intellectual tradition speaks insightfully, creatively, and critically to our contemporary global society and its pressing problems. In unmatched quality and quantity, Pragmatism and Classical American Philosophy provides the resources necessary to understand and act on these insights. (shrink)
Pragmatism, Postmodernism and the Future of Philosophy is a vigorous and dynamic confrontation with the task and temperament of philosophy today. In this energetic and far-reaching new book, Stuhr draws persuasively on the resources of the pragmatist tradition of James and Dewey, and critically engages the work of Continental philosophers like Adorno, Foucault, and Deleuze, to explore fundamental questions of how we might think and live differently in the future. Along the way, the book addresses important issues in public policy, (...) university administration, spirituality, and the notion of community and its meaning in a global world of difference. This book is essential reading for anyone concerned with the future of philosophy, and the ways in which philosophical thinking can help us live better, more fulfilling lives. (shrink)
Charles S. Peirce, William James, Josiah Royce, George Santayana, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead: each of these individuals is an original and historically important thinker; each is an essential contributor to the period, perspective, and tradition of classical American philosophy; and each speaks directly, imaginatively, critically, and wisely to our contemporary global society, its distant possibilities for improvement, and its massive, pressing problems. From the initiative of pragmatism in approximately 1870 to Dewey's final work after World War II, classical (...) American philosophy has come to represent the critical articulation of attitudes, outlooks, and forms of life imbedded in the culture from which it arose. John Stuhr brings together the works of these foremost thinkers to present a comprehensive collection in American philosophy. Extensive introductory essays, written especially for this volume by leading scholars of the subject, provide not only the bibliographical and cultural contexts necessary to a full appreciation of each thinker, but also original critical and interpretive philosophical observations. (shrink)
John J. Stuhr, a leading voice in American philosophy, sets forth a view of pragmatism as a personal work of art or fashion. Stuhr develops his pragmatism by putting pluralism forward, setting aside absolutism and nihilism, opening new perspectives on democracy, and focusing on love. He creates a space for a philosophy that is liable to failure and that is experimental, pluralist, relativist, radically empirical, radically democratic, and absurd. Full color illustrations enhance this lyrical commitment to a new version of (...) pragmatism. (shrink)
Both William James and Gilles Deleuze labeled their philosophies "radical empiricism." In this context, this essay explores the similarities and differences between James's radical empiricism and Deleuze's "transcendental empiricism". These accounts then inform a view of philosophy understood as a creative art. This art demands flexible habits--what James termed "genius"--in a changing world. Accordingly, radically empirical accounts of creativity and genius are sketched.
Among the titles are democracy as cooperative inquiry, validating women's experiences pragmatically, and liberal irony and social reform. Paper edition (unseen), $19.95. Annotation copyright by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR.
ABSTRACT Beginning with the observation that “freedom” has many meanings, this article explains that freedom is typically understood in one of three ways: as self-determination (in terms of its origin), as choice (in terms of its experience), or as power (in terms of its outcome). These accounts render freedom essentially a feature or characteristic of individuals. Against such views, this article argues that freedom is a feature of institutions and the practices those institutions make possible. In this context, it is (...) clear that only some freedoms are compatible with the institutions of democracy. Democratic freedom requires democratic institutions (now under attack from authoritarian and market forces), democratic personal ways of life (now under attack by forces that foster non-democratic habits), and a democratic, inclusive understanding of selves and their powers to love others and attend to their suffering and well-being. (shrink)
Examines Nietzsche's complex attitudes toward religion and his understanding of how particular religions and deities affect the intellectual, moral, and spiritual lives of their various proselytes and adherents.
No Professor's Lectures Can Save Us: William James's Pragmatism, Radical Empiricism, and Pluralism draws critically on the full range of the writings of William James--his psychology, theory of belief and truth, radical empiricism, pluralism, and his accounts of religion, ethics, politics, and society-to develop a powerful case for an original pragmatic world view and temperament resonant with James's philosophy. In a manner that avoids the "vicious intellectualism" that James criticized, the book engages more than a century of scholarship on James, (...) and places him in conversation with both his contemporaries and more recent writers. Throughout the book's seven interwoven chapters, the author moves both with James and at times against James to address and illuminate central issues about the nature of the self, freedom, morality, community, truth, reality, and possibility. The chapters take up, in turn, James's views on: faith and freedom; habit, attention, and flourishing; inclusive and ethical lives; democratic politics; the temperament of pragmatism; a radically empirical ontology of relations; and, a pluralistic and unfinished universe. The focus throughout is practical: the book aims to show the differences in concrete lives that it makes to take up a broadly Jamesian pragmatic, radically empirical, and pluralistic personal perspective across the fallible and "ever not quite" endeavours of our finite lives. "From this unsparing practical ordeal," James noted, "no professor's lectures and no array of books can save us." In this spirit, this book does not pretend to provide, by itself, salvation. Instead, it effectively develops insights in the writings of William James that continue to constitute invaluable resources for new problems, new possibilities, and new forms of personal and social life. (shrink)
These questions-in essence 'What are flourishing lives and how can we lead them?'-are long central to philosophy. Now, however, can be addressed in light of new insights in positive psychology, psychiatry, evolutionary biology, cognitive science, and behavioral economics as well new research in philosophy itself, including feminist theory, critical race studies, philosophical psychology, neuro-ethics, and more. The thirteen contributors chart new directions for understanding and securing human flourishing. Reflecting the fact that lives and cultures differ, the perspectives are pluralistic. Part (...) One considers the meaning of human flourishing through analyses of: the nature of purposeful, mattering lives; biological, psychological, and social levels of homeostasis; the nature of human agency and the role of narrative in it; the nature of the self and self-fulfillment; the centrality of subjective values and non-subjective conditions that make possible these values; and the need to encompass the wide diversity of human lives. Part Two considers conditions on which flourishing depends. These include: habits flexible enough to confront ever-changing realities; conditions of social justice rather than supposed self-help; epistemic responsibility and sensitivity to social relations; civility and values literacy; educational reconstruction, particularly in the humanities; a cultural focus on eudaimonic values rather than mere technical efficiency and marketplace consumerism; and the role of creative arts in transforming our abilities, promoting genuine self-government, and providing consolation in the face of loss. (shrink)
William James claimed that his Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking would prove triumphant and epoch-making. Today, after more than 100 years, how is pragmatism to be understood? What has been its cultural and philosophical impact? Is it a crucial resource for current problems and for life and thought in the future? John J. Stuhr and the distinguished contributors to this multidisciplinary volume address these questions, situating them in personal, philosophical, political, American, and global contexts. Engaging (...) James in original ways, these 11 essays probe and extend the significance of pragmatism as they focus on four major, overlapping themes: pragmatism and American culture; pragmatism as a method of thinking and settling disagreements; pragmatism as theory of truth; and pragmatism as a mood, attitude, or temperament. (shrink)
Addressing perspectives about who "we" are, the importance of place and home, and the many differences that still separate individuals, this volume reimagines cosmopolitanism in light of our differences, including the different places we all inhabit and the many places where we do not feel at home. Beginning with the two-part recognition that the world is a smaller place and that it is indeed many worlds, Cosmopolitanism and Place critically explores what it means to assert that all people are citizens (...) of the world, everywhere in the world, as well as persons bounded by a universal and shared morality. (shrink)
In the Apology, Plato’s Socrates asserts: “And if I say that the greatest good of a man is daily to converse about virtue, and all that concerning which you hear me examining myself and others, and that the life which is unexamined is not worth living—that you are still less likely to believe”. The unexamined life is not worth living. This is the mantra of Western philosophy. The unexamined life—a life that is not self-examining—is not worth living. The temple at (...) Delphi advises, “Know thyself,” as well as, “Nothing too much,” and, “Give a pledge, and trouble is at hand.” And the Delphic oracle proclaimed that Socrates was the wisest of all men—Socrates, who knew himself well enough to... (shrink)
This article, with those published here by Robert Innis and Richard Shusterman, is part of a symposium devoted to exploring critically new directions in, and for, pragmatism. Each symposiast takes up this task in the context of new books by the other two. Accordingly, I examine the ways in which _Pragmatism and the Forms of Sense by Innis and _Surface and Depth by Shusterman may advance commitments to pluralism (such that the books that speak to one person may not address (...) or be alive or be instrumental for another person); time and finitude (such that change, precariousness, and difference are ineliminable, and that theorizing is always situated and provincial); and, practice (such that beliefs are habits of meaning-full, meaning-giving, embodied action). I argue, following the lines of thought set forth in my _Pragmatism, Postmodernism, and the Future of Philosophy, that these commitments as well as the practice of philosophy are thoroughly political in two specified senses -- a point that signals the deflation of theory and marks the limit of philosophy -- the enabling limit of philosophy that is honest and self-critically political and politically critical. (shrink)
ABSTRACT I document the contemporary war on truth by authoritarian leaders and regimes, focusing on its distinctive sites, scope, and tactics. In this context, I explain both the pressing need to defend pluralism and the ways pluralism has been co-opted for antidemocratic goals. This defense of pluralism includes an epistemic creed and, flowing from this creed, four strategies for action to counter the war on truth: change of government leadership through the electoral process ; countertactics to the new authoritarian communication (...) techniques ; creation of individual habits enabled by the skills of effective inquiry, communication, and imagination ; and, adequate resources, freedom, and public commitment to institutions that produce truth and accept different truths—research and education, the press and media, and the courts and judicial system. I claim that collectively these four responses are the only possibly effective ones—and thus that they all are necessary. Whether or not they are sufficient is an issue that rests with melioristic action and, thus, can be judged only after and by the consequences of that action. (shrink)
ABSTRACT In this article I argue that contemporary philosophy is lost in several important senses and that its recovery requires that we understand philosophy as a fundamentally creative endeavor; an expressive, evocative, imaginative, and visionary art; an art of life, like poetry and theater, music and painting, films and sculpture, installations and architecture, graffiti and graphic novels, ballet and basketball; a province of meaning rather than, more than, fact. I show how this changed self-understanding in turn would change the questions (...) philosophers ask. And I argue that this view of philosophy requires a commitment to pluralism in both theory and practice. (shrink)