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C. I. Lewis in Focus

The Pulse of Pragmatism

Sandra B. Rosenthal

Publication Year: 2007

C. I. Lewis (1883--1964) was one of the most important thinkers of his generation. In this book, Sandra B. Rosenthal explores Lewis's philosophical vision, and links his thought to the traditions of classical American pragmatism. Tracing Lewis's influences, she explains the central concepts informing his thinking and how he developed a unique and practical vision of the human experience. She shows how Lewis contributed to the enrichment and expansion of pragmatism, opening new paths of constructive dialogue with other traditions. This book will become a standard reference for readers who want to know more about one of American philosophy's most distinguished minds.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Contents

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pp. vii-

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-

I would like to thank John Stuhr and Dee Mortensen for their untiring efforts and ongoing helpful suggestions on behalf of this work, from its inception to its completion. I especially wish to thank my husband...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-4

The pragmatic vision of C. I. Lewis brings unique doctrines and areas of focus to philosophy in general and pragmatism in particular. This work proposes to explain the central concepts and features of Lewis’s philosophy, explore the lines of thinking that led him from particular issues and problems to the development...

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1. Life, Work, and Importance

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pp. 5-24

Clarence Irving Lewis was one of the most important thinkers of his generation, and with his pragmatic vision he brought unique doctrines and areas of focus to philosophy in general and pragmatism in particular. Yet he does not receive the attention given the other pragmatists and which he richly deserves...

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2. Rational Certitude and Pragmatic Experimentalism

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pp. 25-68

Lewis holds that there are three ingredients in knowledge: the sensibly given and the concept—each of which is independent of the other—and the interpretation of the former by the latter. A distinguishing aspect of pragmatism is that it puts interpretation and its practical consequences...

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3. Empitical Certitude and Pragmatic Fallibilism

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pp. 69-96

Analytic or a priori propositions are true of all possible worlds, and their assertions are known true by an understanding of the sense meaning that they express. Empirical or synthetic propositions, however, assert something that is not necessary, and their assertions...

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4. Through Experience to Metaphysics

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pp. 97-128

Lewis’s position incorporates diverse understandings of reality, each of which a vision of embodies a reality in the making, a reality that is in an ongoing process of evolving or restructuring itself. And his understanding of the nature of and interrelation...

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5. The Process of Valuation

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pp. 129-147

Lewis’s moral theory incorporates and extends the themes developed in his epistemology. He counters the view, popular in his time, that ethical assertions are merely emotive or persuasive, developing the position that valuations are cognitive and that ethical judgments...

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6. Morality and Sociality: An Evolving Enterprise

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pp. 148-169

Lewis’s ethics integrates the importance of consequences, experimentalism, workability, and the pragmatic understanding of humans and nature, with a vital role for imperatives. Human behavior as goal oriented and problem solving is rule-guided behavior, and rules...

Notes

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pp. 171-178

Bibliography

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pp. 179-180

Index

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pp. 181-184


E-ISBN-13: 9780253116772
E-ISBN-10: 0253116775
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253348371

Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2007

Series Title: American Philosophy