Beyond Realism and Antirealism
John Dewey and the Neopragmatists
Publication Year: 2003
Published by: Vanderbilt University Press
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This book grew out a confrontation with a simple question: What is pragmatism? Perhaps I can save time for some readers by giving the answer: no one really knows. Ever since A. O. Lovejoy published “The Thirteen Pragmatisms” in 1908, any hope of permanently fixing a single meaning went out the window. Even now, the meaning of pragmatism...
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Chapter 1: Introduction
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Pragmatism has undergone an extraordinary renaissance in the last two decades. Burgeoning interest in John Dewey, William James, and Charles S. Peirce has led many to embrace pragmatism as a distinctively American via media, capable of bridging the contemporary divide between philosophy as cultural criticism and philosophy as fundamental science...
Chapter 2: Dewey and Realism
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Although Dewey’s mature metaphysical and epistemological views may be traced to a number of important influences (such as Kant, Hegel, Darwin, Peirce, and James), it would be incautious to overlook the influence evolving American realisms had upon him. Around the time of his 1905 move to Columbia...
Chapter 3: Dewey and Idealism
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Dewey’s rejection of the central tenets of traditional epistemology was also a rejection of the metaphysical picture on which those tenets were based. What his pragmatism offered was not, as some have charged, just another totalizing metaphysics that places vulgar human interests at the center of everything nor “a contemplative survey of existence”...
Chapter 4: Rorty, Putnam, and Classical Pragmatism
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Richard Rorty and Hilary Putnam are the most prominent representatives of neopragmatism today. Their numerous books and articles include critical studies of the classical pragmatists1 as well as new formulations of pragmatism (i.e., “neopragmatism”) for the contemporary philosophical scene...
Chapter 5: Neopragmatism’s Realism/Antirealism Debate
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As the twenty-first century begins, the debates between realists and antirealists show few signs of abating. At the heart of these epistemological and metaphysical debates are questions such as, What makes a sentence true? How does language hook onto the world? And “Is reality intrinsically determinate, or is its determinacy a result...
Chapter 6: Beyond Realism and Antirealism
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The title of this chapter and book seems to promise too much: the resolution of a formidable controversy that has occupied prominent philosophers for decades. Some might say that ambitious promises don’t suit pragmatists, who should know better than to blithely reproduce the arrogance of the very philosophical defendants they would call to court...
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Page Count: 264
Publication Year: 2003