Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. ix

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xii

There are many persons and a few institutions to whom I owe heart- felt thanks for helping me to finish this work. First, to friends and colleagues who have read portions of the study and provided both constructive criticism and necessary encouragement: Lisa Marcus, Erin McKenna...

read more

Introduction. “Individualism Has Never Been Tried”: Toward a Pragmatic Individualism

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-22

America has a love-hate relationship with individualism.1 Many view individualism as morally and politically suspect, as a corrosive force that undermines democracy and is the source of many of our social ills. Such indictments usually focus on two main issues. First, that individualism precludes meaningful...

Part 1. Emerson

read more

1 What’s the Use of Reading Emerson Pragmatically?: The Example of William James

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 25-52

In the opening lines of Pragmatism, William James approvingly quotes G. K. Chesterton’s claim that “the most practical and important thing about a man is still his view of the universe”—in other words, his philosophy. In the broadest and most meaningful terms, James asserts that philosophy is “not...

read more

2 “Let Us Have Worse Cotton and Better Men”: Emerson’s Ethics of Self-Culture

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 53-124

Pragmatism, as noted in my introduction, rejects absolutism in favor of an experimental and melioristic approach to inquiry and conduct. Relinquishing the notion of truth as providing any absolute certainty, and rejecting simplistic notions that truth provides an objective account of an unchanging...

Part 2. Pragmatism: James and Dewey

read more

3 Moments in the World’s Salvation: James’s Pragmatic Individualism

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 127-190

They don’t make intellectuals like William James anymore.1 James forged a career whose remarkable breadth seems unimaginable in the academic and popular cultures of today. He traversed and blended several disciplines, writing pioneering works in psychology and religion in addition to the work for...

read more

4 Character and Community: Dewey’s Model of Moral Selfhood

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 191-243

The writings of John Dewey occupy a pivotal position in the genealogy of pragmatic individualism charted in this study.1 Spanning the era from the Civil War to the Cold War (1859–1952), Dewey’s life is remarkable for the sheer scope of social changes he witnessed and participated in, and the breadth of these changes is reflected in his prodigious range and output as a philosopher...

read more

5 “The Local Is the Ultimate Universal”: Dewey on Reconstructing Individuality and Community

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 244-278

In 1926, when John Dewey delivered and revised the series of lectures that would be published as The Public and Its Problems, the future of individualism in American culture weighed heavily on his mind. In “William James in Nineteen Twenty-Six,” he wondered aloud about James’s melioristic ethic of individualized...

Part 3 A Tragicomic Ethics in the Emersonian Vein: Kenneth Burke and Ralph Ellison

read more

6 Saying Yes and Saying No: Individualist Ethics in Ellison and Burke

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 281-310

The writings of Ralph Ellison constitute one of American literature’s most sophisticated explorations of the doubleness that W. E. B. Du Bois described as central to African-American identity. While Du Bois testified to the African-American’s “longing” to overcome the social and psychic divisions imposed...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 311-370

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 371-376

American Philosophy

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 377-378