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Pets, People, and Pragmatism

Erin McKenna

Pets, People, and Pragmatism examines human relationships with pets without assuming that such relations are either benign or unnatural and to be avoided. The book addresses a lack of respect in pet-people relationships; for respectful relationships to be a real possibility, however, humans must make the effort to understand the beings with whom we live, work, and play. American pragmatism understands that humans and other animal beings have been interacting and transforming each other for thousands of years. There is nothing "unnatural" about the human domestication of other animal beings, though domestication does raise specific practical and ethical questions. A pragmatist account of our relationship with those animal beings commonly considered as pets does not prohibit the use of these beings in research, entertainment, competition, or work. It does, however, find abuse and neglect unethical. Since abuse can occur in any use of other animal beings, this pragmatist account takes up the abusive practices in research, entertainment, competition, and work without arguing that research, entertainment, competition, and work are inherently abusive. Some of the sources of abuse have been addressed by utilitarian and deontological accounts, but a pragmatist evolutionary perspective offers unique insights and results in some surprising conclusions: for instance, there may be an ethical obligation to let a horse race, a dog show, or a cat compete in agility.Pets, People, and Pragmatism embarks on a philosophical journey that will captivate scholars and pet enthusiasts alike. It provides an important contribution to longstanding debates in the area of animal issues and strengthens the idea of multiple approaches to non-human beings. It also opens space for approaches that challenge some of the assumptions in the field of philosophy that have resulted in a dualistic and hierarchical approach to metaphysics and ethics.

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Philosophy and African Development

Theory and Practice

Philosophy and African Development: Theory and Practice appraises development in a holistic manner. It goes beyond the usual measurement in terms of economic achievement and widens the scope to include the impact that history of ideas, political theory, sociology, social and political philosophy, and political economy have had on development in Africa. It is a departure from the traditional treatment of development by economists who point towards the so-called time-tested assertions and recommendations for 'sustainable development', but which are yet bring about significant change in the economies of the so-called 'developing' societies. It is on account of the failures of the economic development theory, with its tepid prescriptions for 'sustainable development' and 'poverty reduction' that theories of development have now been expanded from mere economic analysis to include considerations of history, sociology, political economy and anthropology, as could be discovered in this book. Most of the contributions in this book have been prepared by philosophers across Africa and the United States who implicitly practise their discipline as one whose most effective modern function would be to appraise the human experience in all its dimensions from the standpoints of modern social and natural sciences, all disciplinary offspring of philosophy itself. With chapters ranging from issues of modernity and religious interpretations, the human right to development, the idea of 'African time', the primacy of mental decolonisation, and the type of education offered in Africa today and as a tool for development, to development planning, science, technology and globalisation, as well as issues of post coloniality among others. The tenor of the contributions is not only proportional, but also engaged in the meta-analysis of the theories on which the concept of development is founded and practised. This book is strongly recommended as a useful text in the hands of scholars, researchers and students of development studies. It approaches the important issue of African development from the broad perspective of the social sciences in general, and buttresses this with the keen analytical approach of its contributors.

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Philosophy of Mathematics

Selected Writings

Charles S. Peirce. Edited by Matthew E. Moore

The philosophy of mathematics plays a vital role in the mature philosophy of Charles S. Peirce. Peirce received rigorous mathematical training from his father and his philosophy carries on in decidedly mathematical and symbolic veins. For Peirce, math was a philosophical tool and many of his most productive ideas rest firmly on the foundation of mathematical principles. This volume collects Peirce's most important writings on the subject, many appearing in print for the first time. Peirce's determination to understand matter, the cosmos, and "the grand design" of the universe remain relevant for contemporary students of science, technology, and symbolic logic.

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Pragmatic Fashions

Pluralism, Democracy, Relativism, and the Absurd

John J. Stuhr

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.

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Pragmatic Naturalism

An Introduction

S. Morris Eames

It is said that America came of age in­tellectually with the appearance of the pragmatic movement in philosophy. Pragmatic Naturalism presents a selec­tive and interpretative overview of this philosophy as developed in the writings of its intellectual founders and chief exponents—Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, George Herbert Mead, and John Dewey. Mr. Eames groups the leading ideas of these pragmatic natu­ralists around the general fields of “Na­ture and Human Life,” “Knowledge,” “Value,” and “Education,” treating the primary concerns and special emphasis of each philosopher to these issues.

 

Philosophy students, teachers of phi­losophy, and general readers will find this book a comprehensive overview of American philosophy.

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Pragmatic Pluralism and the Problem of God

Sami Pihlström

Pragmatism mediates rival extremes, and religion is no exception: the problems of realism versus antirealism, evidentialism versus fideism, and science versus religion, along with other key issues in the philosophy of religion, receive new interpretations when examined from a pragmatist point of view. Religion is then understood as a human practice with certain inherent aims and goals, responding to specific human needs and interests, serving certain important human values, and seeking to resolve problematic situations that naturally arise from our practices themselves, especially our need to live with our vulnerability, finitude, guilt, and mortality.

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Pragmatic Turn in Philosophy, The

Contemporary Engagements between Analytic and Continental Thought

The Pragmatic Turn in Philosophy explores how the various discursive strategies of old and new pragmatisms are related, and what their pertinence is to the relationship between pragmatism and philosophy as a whole. The contributors bridge the divide between analytic and continental philosophy through a transcontinental desire to work on common problems in a common philosophical language. Irrespective of which side of the divide one stands on, pragmatic philosophy has gained ascendancy over the traditional concerns of a representationalist epistemology that has determined much of the intellectual and cultural life of modernity. This book details how contemporary philosophy will emerge from this recognition and that, in fact, this emergence is already underway.

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Pragmatism as Post-Postmodernism

Lessons from John Dewey

Larry A. Hickman

Larry A. Hickman presents John Dewey as very much at home in the busy mix of contemporary philosophy-as a thinker whose work now, more than fifty years after his death, still furnishes fresh insights into cutting-edge philosophical debates. Hickman argues that it is precisely the rich, pluralistic mix of contemporary philosophical discourse, with its competing research programs in French-inspired postmodernism, phenomenology, Critical Theory, Heidegger studies, analytic philosophy, and neopragmatism-all busily engaging, challenging, and informing one another-that invites renewed examination of Dewey's central ideas.Hickman offers a Dewey who both anticipated some of the central insights of French-inspired postmodernism and, if he were alive today, would certainly be one of its most committed critics, a Dewey who foresaw some of the most trenchant problems associated with fostering global citizenship, and a Dewey whose core ideas are often at odds with those of some of his most ardent neopragmatist interpreters.In the trio of essays that launch this book, Dewey is an observer and critic of some of the central features of French-inspired postmodernism and its American cousin, neopragmatism. In the next four, Dewey enters into dialogue with contemporary critics of technology, including Jrgen Habermas, Andrew Feenberg, and Albert Borgmann. The next two essays establish Dewey as an environmental philosopher of the first rank-a worthy conversation partner for Holmes Ralston, III, Baird Callicott, Bryan G. Norton, and Aldo Leopold. The concluding essays provide novel interpretations of Dewey's views of religious belief, the psychology of habit, philosophical anthropology, and what he termed the epistemology industry.

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Pragmatism, Nation, and Race

Community in the Age of Empire

Edited by Chad Kautzer and Eduardo Mendieta

Pragmatism has been called "the chief glory of our country's intellectual tradition" by its supporters and "a dog's dinner" by its detractors. While acknowledging pragmatism's direct ties to American imperialism and expansionism, Chad Kautzer, Eduardo Mendieta, and the contributors to this volume consider the role pragmatism plays, for better or worse, in current discussions of nationalism, war, race, and community. What can pragmatism contribute to understandings of a diverse nation? How can we reconcile pragmatism's history with recent changes in the country's racial and ethnic makeup? How does pragmatism help to explain American values and institutions and fit them into new national and multinational settings? The answers to these questions reveal pragmatism's role in helping to nourish the fundamental ideas, politics, and culture of contemporary America.

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The Primal Roots of American Philosophy

Pragmatism, Phenomenology, and Native American Thought

Bruce Wilshire

Continuing his quest to bring American philosophy back to its roots, Bruce Wilshire connects the work of such thinkers as Thoreau, Emerson, Dewey, and James with Native American beliefs and practices. His search is not for exact parallels, but rather for fundamental affinities between the equally "organismic" thought systems of indigenous peoples and classic American philosophers. Wilshire gives particular emphasis to the affinities between Black Elk’s view of the hoop of the world and Emerson’s notion of horizon, and also between a shaman’s healing practices and James’s ideas of pure experience, willingness to believe, and a pluralistic universe. As these connections come into focus, the book shows how European phenomenology was inspired and influenced by the classic American philosophers, whose own work reveals the inspiration and influence of indigenous thought. Wilshire’s book also reveals how artificial are the walls that separate the sciences and the humanities in academia, and that separate Continental from Anglo-American thought within the single discipline of philosophy.

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