In discussions of whether and how pragmatic considerations can make a difference to what one ought to believe, two sets of cases feature. The first set, which dominates the debate about pragmatic reasons for belief, is exemplified by cases of being financially bribed to believe (or withhold from believing) something. The second set, which dominates the debate about pragmatic encroachment on epistemic justification, is exemplified by cases where acting on a belief rashly risks some disastrous outcome if the belief turns (...) out to be false. Call those who think that pragmatic considerations make a difference to what one ought to believe in the second kind of case, but not in the first, ‘moderate pragmatists’. Many philosophers – in particular, most advocates of pragmatic and moral encroachment – are moderate pragmatists. But moderate pragmatists owe us an explanation of exactly why the second kind of pragmatic consideration makes a difference, but the first kind doesn’t. I argue that the most promising of these explanations all fail: they are either theoretically undermotivated, or get key cases wrong, or both. Moderate pragmatism may be an unstable stopping point between a more extreme pragmatism, on one hand, and an uncompromising anti-pragmatism on the other. (shrink)
One of the great American pragmatic philosophers alongside Peirce and Dewey, William James delivered these eight lectures in Boston and New York in the winter of 1906–7. Though he credits Peirce with coining the term 'pragmatism', James highlights in his subtitle that this 'new name' describes a philosophical temperament as old as Socrates. The pragmatic approach, he says, takes a middle way between rationalism's airy principles and empiricism's hard facts. James' pragmatism is both a method of interpreting ideas (...) by their practical consequences and an epistemology which identifies truths according to their useful outcomes. Furnished with many examples, the lectures illustrate pragmatism's response to classic problems such as the question of free will versus determinism. Published in 1907, this work further develops James's approach to religion and morality, introduced in The Will to Believe and The Varieties of Religious Experience , both reissued in this series. (shrink)
Noted psychologist and philosopher develops his own brand of pragmatism, based on theories of C. S. Peirce. Emphasis on "radical empiricism," versus the transcendental and rationalist tradition. One of the most important books in American philosophy. Note.
Pragmatists have traditionally been enemies of representationalism but friends of naturalism, when naturalism is understood to pertain to human subjects, in the sense of Hume and Nietzsche. In this volume Huw Price presents his distinctive version of this traditional combination, as delivered in his René Descartes Lectures at Tilburg University in 2008. Price contrasts his view with other contemporary forms of philosophical naturalism, comparing it with other pragmatist and neo-pragmatist views such as those of Robert Brandom and Simon Blackburn. Linking (...) their different 'expressivist' programmes, Price argues for a radical global expressivism that combines key elements from both. With Paul Horwich and Michael Williams, Brandom and Blackburn respond to Price in new essays. Price replies in the closing essay, emphasising links between his views and those of Wilfrid Sellars. The volume will be of great interest to advanced students of philosophy of language and metaphysics. (shrink)
According to doxastic pragmatism, certain perceived practical factors, such as high stakes and urgency, have systematic effects on normal subjects’ outright beliefs. Upholders of doxastic pragmatism have so far endorsed a particular version of this view, which we may call threshold pragmatism. This view holds that the sensitivity of belief to the relevant practical factors is due to a corresponding sensitivity of the threshold on the degree of credence necessary for outright belief. According to an alternative but (...) yet unrecognised version of doxastic pragmatism, practical factors affect credence rather than the threshold on credence. Let’s call this alternative view credal pragmatism. In this paper, I argue that credal pragmatism is more plausible than threshold pragmatism. I show that the former view better accommodates a cluster of intuitive and empirical data. I conclude by considering the issue of whether our doxastic attitudes’ sensitivity to practical factors can be considered rational, and if yes, in what sense. (shrink)
Pragmatism is resurging, especially among embodied cognitive scientists. The growing appreciation of the body accompanying this fits with increasing recognition that cognition and perception are valuative, which is to say, emotional, interested and aesthetic. In what follows, I detail how classical pragmatic thinking—specifically that of William James and John Dewey—anticipates recent valuative theories of mind and how it can be used to develop them further.I begin by discussing James's concept of selective interests, how it meshes with contemporary research and (...) how the two together suggest not only that cognition is valuative, but that emotions bring us rationally into touch with our worlds. Recent advocates cite... (shrink)
Rising concerns among scholars about the intellectual and cultural foundations of democracy have led to a revival of interest in the American philosophical tradition of pragmatism. In this book, Hans Joas shows how pragmatism can link divergent intellectual efforts to understand the social contexts of human knowledge, individual freedom, and democratic culture. Along with pragmatism's impact on American sociology and social research from 1895 to the 1940s, Joas traces its reception by French and German traditions during this (...) century. He explores the influences of pragmatism—often misunderstood—on Emile Durkheim's sociology of knowledge, and on German thought, with particularly enlightening references to its appropriation by Nazism and its rejection by neo-Marxism. He also explores new currents of social theory in the work of Habermas, Castoriadis, Giddens, and Alexander, fashioning a bridge between Continental thought, American philosophy, and contemporary sociology; he shows how the misapprehension and neglect of pragmatism has led to systematic deficiencies in contemporary social theory. From this skillful historical and theoretical analysis, Joas creates a powerful case for the enduring legacy of Peirce, James, Dewey, and Mead for social theorists today. (shrink)
_Pragmatism: An Introduction _provides an account of the arguments of the central figures of the most important philosophical tradition in the American history of ideas, pragmatism. This wide-ranging and accessible study explores the work of the classical pragmatists Charles Sanders Peirce, William James and John Dewey, as well as more recent philosophers including Richard Rorty, Richard J. Bernstein, Cheryl Misak, and Robert B. Brandom. Michael Bacon examines how pragmatists argue for the importance of connecting philosophy to practice. In so (...) doing, they set themselves in opposition to many of the presumptions that have dominated philosophy since Descartes. The book demonstrates how pragmatists reject the Cartesian spectator theory of knowledge, in which the mind is viewed as seeking accurately to represent items in the world, and replace it with an understanding of truth and knowledge in terms of the roles they play within our social practices. The book explores the diverse range of positions that have engendered marked and sometimes acrimonious disputes amongst pragmatists. Bacon identifies the themes underlying these differences, revealing a greater commonality than many commentators have recognized. The result is an illuminating narrative of a rich philosophical movement that will be of interest to students in philosophy, political theory, and the history of ideas. (shrink)
Pragmatism is America's best-known native philosophy. It espouses a practical set of beliefs and principles that focus on the improvement of our lives. Yet the split between classical and contemporary pragmatists has divided the tradition against itself. Classical pragmatists, such as John Dewey and William James, believed we should heed the lessons of experience. Neopragmatists, including Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam, and Jürgen Habermas, argue instead from the perspective of a linguistic turn, which makes little use of the idea of (...) experience. Can these two camps be reconciled in a way that revitalizes a critical tradition? -/- Colin Koopman proposes a recovery of pragmatism by way of "transitionalist" themes of temporality and historicity which flourish in the work of the early pragmatists and continue in contemporary neopragmatist thought. "Life is in the transitions," James once wrote, and, in following this assertion, Koopman reveals the continuities uniting both phases of pragmatism. Koopman's framework also draws from other contemporary theorists, including Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, Bernard Williams, and Stanley Cavell. By reflecting these voices through the prism of transitionalism, a new understanding of knowledge, ethics, politics, and critique takes root. Koopman concludes with a call for integrating Dewey and Foucault into a model of inquiry he calls genealogical pragmatism, a mutually informative critique that further joins the analytic and continental schools. (shrink)
Though many pioneering feminists were deeply influenced by American pragmatism, their contemporary followers have generally ignored that tradition because of its marginalization by a philosophical mainstream intent on neutral analyses devoid of subjectivity. In this revealing work, Charlene Haddock Seigfried effectively reunites two major social and philosophical movements, arguing that pragmatism, because of its focus on the emancipatory potential of everyday experiences, offers feminism its most viable and powerful philosophical foundation. With careful attention to their interwoven histories and (...) contemporary concerns, _Pragmatism and Feminism_ effectively invigorates both traditions, opening them to new interpretations and appropriations and asserting their timely philosophical relevance. This foundational work in feminist theory simultaneously invites and guides future scholarship in an area of rapidly emerging significance. (shrink)
This chapter examines the pragmatist approach to cognition and experience and provides some of the conceptual background to the “pragmatic turn” currently underway in cognitive science. Classical pragmatists wrote extensively on cognition from a naturalistic perspective, and many of their views are compatible with contemporary pragmatist approaches such as enactivist, extended, and embodied-Bayesian approaches to cognition. Three principles of a pragmatic approach to cognition frame the discussion: First, thinking is structured by the interaction of an organism with its environment. Second, (...) cognition develops via exploratory inference, which remains a core cognitive ability throughout the life cycle. Finally, inquiry/problem solving begins with genuinely irritating doubts that arise in a situation and is carried out by exploratory inference. (shrink)
Environmental pragmatism is a new strategy in environmental thought. It argues that theoretical debates are hindering the ability of the environmental movement to forge agreement on basic policy imperatives. This new direction in environmental thought moves beyond theory, advocating a serious inquiry into the merits of moral pluralism. Environmental pragmatism, as a coherent philosophical position, connects the methodology of classical American pragmatic thought to the explanation, solution and discussion of real issues. This concise, well-focused collection is the first (...) comprehensive presentation of environmental pragmatism as a new philosophical approach to environmental thought and policy. (shrink)
This paper argues that it is possible to combine enactivism and ecological psychology in a single post-cognitivist research framework if we highlight the common pragmatist assumptions of both approaches. These pragmatist assumptions or starting points are shared by ecological psychology and the enactive approach independently of being historically related to pragmatism, and they are based on the idea of organic coordination, which states that the evolution and development of the cognitive abilities of an organism are explained by appealing to (...) the history of interactions of that organism with its environment. It is argued that the idea of behavioral or organic coordination within the enactive approach gives rise to the sensorimotor abilities of the organism, while the ecological approach emphasizes the coordination at a higher-level between organism and environment through the agent’s exploratory behavior for perceiving affordances. As such, these two different processes of organic coordination can be integrated in a post-cognitivist research framework, which will be based on two levels of analysis: the subpersonal one and the personal one. If this proposal is on the right track, this may be a promising first step for offering a systematized and consistent post-cognitivist approach to cognition that retain the full potential of both enactivism and ecological psychology. (shrink)
Cheryl Misak offers a strikingly new view of the development of philosophy in the twentieth century. Pragmatism, the home-grown philosophy of America, thinks of truth not as a static relation between a sentence and the believer-independent world, but rather, a belief that works. The founders of pragmatism, Peirce and James, developed this idea in more and less objective ways. The standard story of the reception of American pragmatism in England is that Russell and Moore savaged James's theory, (...) and that pragmatism has never fully recovered. An alternative, and underappreciated, story is told here. The brilliant Cambridge mathematician, philosopher and economist, Frank Ramsey, was in the mid-1920s heavily influenced by the almost-unheard-of Peirce and was developing a pragmatist position of great promise. He then transmitted that pragmatism to his friend Wittgenstein, although had Ramsey lived past the age of 26 to see what Wittgenstein did with that position, Ramsey would not have liked what he saw. (shrink)
Postmodernism -- Classical pragmatism : waiting at the end of the road -- Pragmatism, postmodernism, and global citizenship -- Classical pragmatism, postmodernism, and neopragmatism -- Technology -- Classical pragmatism and communicative action : Jürgen Habermas -- From critical theory to pragmatism : Andrew Feenberg -- A neo-Heideggerian critique of technology : Albert Borgmann -- Doing and making in a democracy : John Dewey -- The environment -- Nature as culture : John Dewey and Aldo Leopold (...) -- Green pragmatism : reals without realism, ideals without idealism -- Classical pragmatism -- What was Dewey's magic number? -- Cultivating a common faith : Dewey's religion -- Beyond the epistemology industry : Dewey's theory of inquiry -- The homo faber debate in Dewey and Max Scheler -- Productive pragmatism : habits as artifacts in Peirce and Dewey. (shrink)
Some Pragmatist Themes in Hegel’s Idealism:Negotiation and Administration in Hegel’sAccount of the Structure and Content ofConceptual NormsRobert B. BrandomThis paper could equally well have been titled ‘Some Idealist Themes in Hegel’sPragmatism’. Both idealism and pragmatism are capacious concepts, encompassingmany distinguishable theses. I will focus on one pragmatist thesis and one ideal-ist thesis (though we will come within sight of some others). The pragmatistthesis (what I will call ‘the semantic pragmatist thesis’) is that the use of conceptsdetermines their content, that (...) is, that concepts can have no content apart from thatconferred on them by their use. The idealist thesis is that the structure and unityof the concept is the same as the structure and unity of the self. The semantic prag-matist thesis is a commonplace of our Wittgensteinean philosophical world. Theidealist thesis is, to say the least, not. I don’t believe there is any serious contem-porary semantic thinker who is pursuing the thought that concepts might best beunderstood by modelling them on selves. Indeed, from the point of view ofcontemporary semantics it is hard to know even what one could mean by such athought: what relatively unproblematic features of selves are supposed to illumi-nate what relatively problematic features of concepts? Why should we think thatunderstanding something about, say, personal identity would help us under-stand issues concerning the identity and individuation of concepts? From acontemporary point of view, the idealist semantic thesis is bound to appearinitially as something between unpromising and crazy.My interpretive claim here will be that the idealist thesis is Hegel’s way of makingthe pragmatist thesis workable, in the context of several other commitments andinsights. My philosophical claim here will be that we actually have a lot to learn fromthis strategy about contemporary semantic issues that we by no means see our wayto the bottom of otherwise. In the space of this essay, I cannot properly justify thefirst claim textually, nor the second argumentatively. I will confine myself of neces-sity to sketching the outlines and motivations for the complex, sophisticated, andinteresting view on the topic I find Hegel putting forward. (shrink)
Feminist theorists have shown that knowledge is embodied in ways that make a difference in science. Intemann properly endorses feminist standpoint theory over Longino’s empiricism, insofar as the former better addresses embodiment. I argue that a pragmatist analysis further improves standpoint theory: Pragmatism avoids the radical subjectivity that otherwise leaves us unable to account for our ability to share scientific knowledge across bodies of different kinds; and it allows us to argue for the inclusion, not just of the knowledge (...) produced from marginalised bodies, but of the marginalised themselves. (shrink)
There is a “Pragmatist turn” visible in the field of organization science today, resulting from a renewed interest in the work of Pragmatist philosophers like Dewey, Mead, Peirce, James and others, and in its implications for the study of organizations. Following Wicks and Freeman, in the past decade Pragmatism has also entered the field of business ethics, which, however, has not been uniformly applauded in that field. Some scholars fear that Pragmatism may enhance already existing positivist and managerialist (...) tendencies in current business ethics, while others see more emancipatory potential in Pragmatism, arguing that it complements and supports stakeholder theory. In this paper, a comparison of the philosophical underpinnings of Pragmatist and Critical conceptions of business ethics is offered, concentrating on the Pragmatism of John Dewey and the Critical theory of the Frankfurt School, in particular of Axel Honneth. It is argued that these two developed along two converging lines. Along the first line, Dewey was far more skeptical and critical of capitalism than is often thought. Along the second line, the reactions to Pragmatism of Frankfurt School Critical theorists developed over time from generally hostile, to partially inclusive, to more fully integrative. At the crossroads of these converging lines a Pragmatist Critical perspective is developed and exemplified, and its implications for business ethics are outlined. (shrink)
Pragmatist Metaphysics proposes a pragmatist re-articulation of the nature, aims and methods of metaphysics. Rather than regarding metaphysics as a ‘first philosophy’, an inquiry into the world independent of human perspectives, the pragmatist views metaphysics as an inquiry into categorizations of reality laden with human practices. Insofar as our categorizations of reality are practice-laden, they are also, inevitably, value-laden. Sami Pihlström argues that metaphysics does not, then, study the world’s ‘own’ categorial structure, but a structure we, through our conceptual and (...) practical activities, impose on the reality we experience and interact with. Engaging with the classical American pragmatists, in particular William James, and neopragmatists, including Hilary Putnam, the author seeks to correct long-held misconceptions regarding the nature of the relationship between metaphysics and pragmatism. He argues that a coherent metaphysical alternative to the currently fashionable realist metaphysics emerges from pragmatism and that pragmatism itself should be reinterpreted in a metaphysically serious manner. Moreover, the book argues that, from a pragmatist perspective, metaphysics must be inextricably linked with ethics. (shrink)
The origins of pragmatism -- Pragmatism and epistemology -- Pragmatism and truth -- Pragmatism and metaphysics -- Pragmatism and ethics -- Pragmatism and politics -- Pragmatism and environmental ethics.
Pragmatism is America’s most distinctive philosophy. Generally it has been understood as a development of European thought in response to the "American wilderness." A closer examination, however, reveals that the roots and central commitments of pragmatism are indigenous to North America. Native Pragmatism recovers this history and thus provides the means to re-conceive the scope and potential of American philosophy. Pragmatism has been at best only partially understood by those who focus on its European antecedents. This (...) book casts new light on pragmatism’s complex origins and demands a rethinking of African American and feminist thought in the context of the American philosophical tradition. Scott L. Pratt demonstrates that pragmatism and its development involved the work of many thinkers previously overlooked in the history of philosophy. (shrink)
In recent years there has been a renewed interest in American pragmatism. In political philosophy, the revival of pragmatism has led to a new appreciation for the democratic theory of John Dewey. In this book, Robert B. Talisse advances a series of pragmatic arguments against Deweyan democracy. Particularly, Talisse argues that Deweyan democracy cannot adequately recognize pluralism , the fact that intelligent, sincere, and well-intentioned persons can disagree sharply and reasonably over moral ideals. Drawing upon the epistemology of (...) the founder of pragmatism, Charles S. Peirce, Talisse develops a conception of democracy that is anti-Deweyan but nonetheless pragmatist. Talisse then brings the Peircean view into critical conversation with contemporary developments in democratic theory, including deliberative democracy, Rawlsian political liberalism, and Richard Posner’s democratic realism. The result is a new pragmatist option in democratic theory. (shrink)
Beginning with a thought experiment about a mysterious Delphic oracle, this article motivates, explains, and attempts to defend a view it calls Ethical Pragmatism. Ethical Pragmatism is the view that we can and should carry on our practice of moral deliberation without reference to moral truths, or more broadly, without reference to metaethics. The defense the article mounts tries to show that neither suspicions about the tenability of fact-value distinctions, nor doubts about the viability of global pragmatism, (...) nor worries about the “force” of ethical injunctions without reference to moral truths constitute good reason to reject Ethical Pragmatism. (shrink)
Pragmatism has enjoyed a considerable revival in the latter part of the twentieth century, but what precisely constitutes pragmatism remains a matter of dispute. In reconstructing the pragmatic tradition in political philosophy, Matthew Festenstein rejects the idea that it is a single, cohesive doctrine. His incisive analysis brings out the commonalities and shared concerns among contemporary pragmatists while making clear their differences in how they would resolve those concerns. His study begins with the work of John Dewey and (...) the moral and psychological conceptions that shaped his philosophy. Here Festenstein lays out the major philosophic issues with which first Dewey, and then his heirs, would grapple. The book's second part traces how Dewey's approach has been differently developed, especially in the work of three contemporary pragmatic thinkers: Richard Rorty, Jurgen Habermas, and Hilary Putnam. This first full-length critical study of the relationship between the pragmatist tradition and political philosophy fills a significant gap in contemporary thought. (shrink)
According to Hutto and Satne, 521–536, 2015), an “essential tension” plagues contemporary neo-Pragmatist accounts of mental contents: their explanation of the emergence and constitution of intentional mental contents is circular. After identifying the problem, they also propose a solution: what neo-Pragmatists need to do, to overcome circularity, is to appeal to a primitive content-free variety of intentionality, different from the full-blown intentionality of propositional attitudes. In this paper, I will argue that, in addition to the problem of circularity, there is (...) another important problem that both neo-Pragmatist accounts, and Hutto and Satnes’s refinement of them, should also deal with: their difficulty to accommodate a host of recent empirical evidence and theoretical developments on the interdisciplinary field of animal cognition. I will call this difficulty the objection from animal minds, and I will present several arguments designed to show that, even though the notion of primitive intentionality, introduced by Hutto and Satne, may be useful to account for some of the most basic ways of dealing with the environment of nonhuman animals, it falls short of providing an adequate explanation of the full-range of cognitive capacities and behavioral dispositions that many animal species display. Thus, their proposal ends up being insufficient to help neo-Pragmatist approaches to overcome the problem of animal minds. Finally, I will suggest that overcoming this objection requires attributing to non-human animals some basic, yet content involving, kinds of intentional mental states. (shrink)
Corrigibilism without solidarity -- Inquiry, deliberation, and method -- Pragmatism and change of view -- Beware of syllogism : statistical reasoning and conjecturing according to Peirce -- Dewey's logic of inquiry -- Wayward naturalism : saving Dewey from himself -- Seeking truth -- The logic of consistency and the logic of truth -- Belief, doubt, and evidentialism -- Induction, abduction, and oracles -- Knowledge as true full belief.
Pragmatism -- From The meaning of truth -- From Psychology, briefer course -- From The will to believe and other essays in popular philosophy -- From Talks to teachers on psychology, and to students on some of life's ideals -- Address at the centenary of Ralph Waldo Emerson -- A world of pure experience -- Is radical empiricism solipsistic?
What does American pragmatism contribute to contemporary debates about human-animal relationships? Does it acknowledge our connections to all living things? Does it bring us closer to an ethical treatment of all animals?
This article investigates the history of the relation between idealism and pragmatism by examining the importance of the French idealist Charles Renouvier for the development of William James's ‘Will to Believe’. By focusing on French idealism, we obtain a broader understanding of the kinds of idealism on offer in the nineteenth century. First, I show that Renouvier's unique methodological idealism led to distinctively pragmatist doctrines and that his theory of certitude and its connection to freedom is worthy of reconsideration. (...) Second, I argue that the technical vocabulary and main structure of the argument from the ‘Will to Believe’ depend upon Renouvier's idealist theory of knowledge and psychology of belief, and that taking account of this line of influence is of crucial importance for establishing the correct interpretation of James's work. (shrink)
Contemporary pragmatists frequently claim to be pluralists, but infrequently say what this commitment means. The authors argue that pragmatism is inconsistent with any commitment that can plausibly be called pluralism.
Gilbert and colleagues point out the discrepancy between the limited empirical data illustrating changes in personality following implantation of deep brain stimulating electrodes and the vast number of conceptual neuroethics papers implying that these changes are widespread, deleterious, and clinically significant. Their findings are reminiscent of C. P. Snow’s essay on the divide between the two cultures of the humanities and the sciences. This division in the literature raises significant ethical concerns surrounding unjustified fear of personality changes in the context (...) of DBS and negative perceptions of clinician-scientists engaged in DBS. These concerns have real world implications for funding future innovative, DBS trials aimed to reduce suffering as well as hampering true interdisciplinary scholarship. We argue that the philosophical tradition of pragmatism and the value it places on empirical inquiry, experiential knowledge, and inter-disciplinary scholarship – reflecting diverse ways of knowing – provides a framework to start to address the important questions Gilbert and colleagues raise. In particular, we highlight the importance of expert clinician knowledge in contributing to the neuroethical questions raised by Gilbert and colleagues. Finally, we provide illustrative examples of some of our interdisciplinary empirical research that demonstrate the iterative cycle of inquiry characteristic of pragmatism in which conceptual neuroethics questions have led to empirical studies whose results then raise additional conceptual questions that give rise to new empirical studies in a way that highlights the contributions of the humanities and the sciences. (shrink)
Email and ethics -- Causation and laws of nature -- Internalism and epistemology -- Einstein, relativity, and absolute simultaneity -- Epistemology modalized -- Truth and speech acts -- Fiction, narrative, and knowledge -- A pragmatist philosophy of democracy.
Classical American pragmatism: the pragmatist -- Enlightenment-and its problematic semantics -- Analyzing pragmatism: pragmatics and pragmatisms -- A Kantian rationalist pragmatism: pragmatism -- Inferentialism, and modality in Sellars's arguments against -- Empiricism -- Linguistic pragmatism and pragmatism about norms: an arc of -- Thought from Rorty's eliminative materialism to his pragmatism -- Vocabularies of pragmatism: synthesizing naturalism and -- Historicism -- Towards an analytic pragmatism: meaning-use analysis -- Pragmatism, expressivism, and (...) anti-representationalism: -- Local and global possibilities. (shrink)
Shaun Gallagher applies enactivist thinking to a staggeringly wide range of topics in philosophy of mind and cognitive science, even venturing into the realms of biological anthropology. One prominent point Gallagher makes that the holistic approach of enactivism makes it less amenable to scientific investigation than the cognitivist framework it seeks to replace, and should be seen as a “philosophy of nature” rather than a scientific research program. Gallagher also gives truth to the saying that “if you want new ideas, (...) read old books”, showing how the insights of the American pragmatists, particularly Dewey and Mead, offer a variety of resources and tools that can be brought to bear on modern day enactivism. Here, I suggest that the adoption of enactivist thinking would undermine the assumptions of certain scientific positions, requiring their abandonment, rather than simply making it more difficult to conduct research within an enactivist framework. I then discuss how Mead’s work has been used previously as a “pragmatist intervention” to help resolve problems in a related 4E endeavour, Gibson’s ecological psychology, and make a case for the inclusion of radical behaviorism as another pragmatist resource for 4E cognition. I conclude with a plea for further enactivist intervention in studies of comparative cognition. (shrink)
This article offers the outlines of a historically-informed conception of critical inquiry herein named genealogical pragmatism. This conception of critical inquiry combines the genealogical emphasis on problematization featured in Michel Foucault's work with the pragmatist emphasis on reconstruction featured in John Dewey's work. The two forms of critical inquiry featured by these thinkers are not opposed, as is too commonly supposed. Genealogical problematization and pragmatist reconstruction fit together for reason of their mutual emphasis on the importance of history for (...) philosophy. In so fitting together they repair crucial deficits in both traditions as they currently stand on their own. The resulting conception of critical inquiry as simultaneously problematizational and reconstructive is offered as a first step toward a crucial philosophical task we face today: articulating normativity without foundations. (shrink)
This chapter reconstructs the classical pragmatists’ position on human emotions, by assuming an original inquiring approach. It considers James’s, Dewey’s and Mead’s conceptions as contributions to an open theoretical laboratory in which the suggestions and unresolved difficulties presented by James were first discussed and developed by Dewey and then, immediately afterward, reconsidered and further articulated by Mead. At the same time, the paper develops a constant comparison with current contributions on this subject, coming from the most advanced trends in so-called (...) “4E cognition” studies. The chapter highlights some of the most relevant theses derived from the pragmatist debate, such as the continuity between bodily and mental aspects, as well as emotion and cognition, sensitiveness and appraisal. It shows the possibility of articulating this discourse by distinguishing between emotions and the pervasive aesthetic, qualitative and affective aspects of our experience. Furthermore, it focuses on the social dimension of emotions conceived as basic forms of gestural communication. Many interesting convergences are emphasized that derive from the abovementioned comparison, while Mead’s insight into a primary social configuration of emotions is presented in its enduring relevance for current inquiries in affective neurosciences. (shrink)
Whatever specific beliefs pragmatists share concerning experience, knowledge, value, and meaning, they generally agree that a central part of the business of life is to make life better. James speaks of the ideal of meeting all needs, Royce of defeating evil, and Dewey of making experience richer and more secure. They are at one in thinking that human intelligence can make a vast difference to how well we live, and they extol the possibility of improving our circumstances. They tend to (...) be dissatisfied with the status quo and see indefinitely sustained amelioration as the solution to our problems. Stoics, in sharp contrast, are quick to call attention to the limits of our powers and recommend accepting them without complaint. They tend to think that only our beliefs and attitudes fall securely in our control. Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius agree that anything we would consider an improvement of the human condition is temporary and that, in any case, fulfilling our desires accomplishes little. The key to living well, they maintain, is control over self, not over circumstance, and they embrace inner calm in the face of whatever misfortune befalls us. Even such a brief characterization of these two great philosophical traditions makes it clear that pragmatic ambition and... (shrink)
In today’s pluralistic society, clinical ethics consultation cannot count on a pre-given set of rules and principles to be applied to a specific situation, because such an approach would deny the existence of different and divergent backgrounds by imposing a dogmatic and transcultural morality. Clinical ethics support needs to overcome this lack of foundations and conjugate the respect for the difference at stake with the necessity to find shared and workable solutions for ethical issues encountered in clinical practice. We argue (...) that a pragmatist approach to CES, based on the philosophical theories of William James, John Dewey, and Charles Sanders Peirce, can help to achieve the goal of reaching practical solutions for moral problems in the context of today’s clinical environment, characterized by ethical pluralism. In this article, we outline a pragmatist theoretical framework for CES. Furthermore, we will show that moral case deliberation, making use of the dilemma method, can be regarded an example of a pragmatist approach to CES. (shrink)
“The most likely use for Haack’s volume will be in introductory pragmatism courses and it is eminently appropriate for this task. However, others who would wish to speak out about pragmatism authoritatively would do well to go through the book from cover to cover. Outside of philosophy, the volume provides an introduction to a vital aspect of what philosophy has to offer to other disciplines, psychology among them....it is hard to think what could have been done to improve (...) upon the collection.”. (shrink)