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Philosophy > Pragmatism
A Pragmatic Tradition from Emerson to Ellison
America has a love-hate relationship with individualism. In Reconstructing Individualism, James Albrecht argues that our conceptions of individualism have remained trapped within the assumptions of classic liberalism. He traces an alternative genealogy of individualist ethics in four major American thinkers-Ralph Waldo Emerson, William James, John Dewey, and Ralph Ellison. These writers' shared commitments to pluralism (metaphysical and cultural), experimentalism, and a melioristic stance toward value and reform led them to describe the self as inherently relational. Accordingly, they articulate models of selfhood that are socially engaged and ethically responsible, and they argue that a reconceived-or, in Dewey's term, "reconstructed"-individualism is not merely compatible with but necessary to democratic community. Conceiving selfhood and community as interrelated processes, they call for an ongoing reform of social conditions so as to educate and liberate individuality, and, conversely, they affirm the essential role individuality plays in vitalizing communal efforts at reform.
This collection represents the rediscovery of Josiah Royce’s rich legacy that has occurred over the past decade.The first part presents a series of historical explorations. The second takes up practical extensions of Royce’s work, bringing his ideas and methods to bear on contemporary philosophical matters. Among the topics addressed are the paradoxes of individualism; loyalty, democracy, and community; Royce’s efforts to respond to historical American racism; his contributions to engaged inter-faith religious discourse; the promise of his theory of error for a feminist account of knowledge; and his ethics of loyalty as a component in medical ethics.
The Ethical and Spiritual Insights of William James, Josiah Royce, and Charles Sanders Peirce
The Soul of Classical American Philosophy is an introduction to the thought of William James, Josiah Royce, and Charles Sanders Peirce, particularly in terms of the ethical and the spiritual. Writing for the nonspecialist in a straightforward style, Richard P. Mullin brings together the central ideas of these three key figures of classical American Pragmatism and explores their engagement with issues of truth, the meaning of self, free will, moral values, community, scientific thinking, and the relationship with the transcendent. He also addresses the growing international interest in American philosophy and sheds light on a defining movement in its history.
John Lachs, one of American philosophy's most distinguished interpreters, turns to William James, Josiah Royce, Charles S. Peirce, John Dewey, and George Santayana to elaborate stoic pragmatism, or a way to live life within reasonable limits. Stoic pragmatism makes sense of our moral obligations in a world driven by perfectionist human ambition and unreachable standards of achievement. Lachs proposes a corrective to pragmatist amelioration and stoic acquiescence by being satisfied with what is good enough. This personal, yet modest, philosophy offers penetrating insights into the American way of life and our human character.
Surrogates introduces an important new philosophic topic: the pervasive ways that things stand for one another in nature and human experience. Going beyond semiotic theory, Paul Weiss interprets surrogacy in terms of metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, and religious dimensions of life, integrating the concept into a systematic way of regarding reality. Just as philosophy brings a systematic set of questions to the issue of surrogate reality, Weiss's investigation of the topic raises new questions for philosophy itself, manifesting his great concern for philosophy's freedom and creativity. The author concludes each chapter with a provocative set of questions and answers that engage imagined critics in a dialogue. Together with his previous book, Emphatics, Surrogates constitutes a richly textured phenomenology of human experience with important ramifications for contemporary pragmatism. The wit and intelligence of this volume are a delight for any reader.
An Essay in Pragmatic Naturalism
The Things in Heaven and Earth develops and applies the American philosophical naturalist tradition of the mid-20th century, specifically the work of three of the most prominent figures of what is called Columbia Naturalism: John Dewey, John Herman Randall Jr., and Justus Buchler. The book argues for the philosophical value and usefulness of this underappreciated tradition for a number of contemporary theoretical and practical issues, such as the modernist/postmodernist divide and debates over philosophical constructivism.Pragmatic naturalism offers a distinctive ontology of constitutive relations. Relying on Buchler's ordinal ontology and on the relationality implicit in Dewey's instrumentalism, the book gives a detailed account of this approach in chapters that deal with issues in systematic ontology, epistemology, constructivism and objectivity, philosophical theology, art, democratic theory, foreign policy, education, humanism, and cosmopolitanism.
Existential Identity in a Pluralistic World
Thinking through Kierkegaard is a critical evaluation of SÃ¸ren Kierkegaard's vision of the normatively human, of who we are and might aspire to become, and of what Mehl calls our existential identity. Through a pragmatist examination of three of Kierkegaard's key pseudonymous "voices" (Judge William, Climacus, and Anti-Climacus), Peter J. Mehl argues that Kierkegaard's path is not the only end of our search, but instead leads us to affirm a plurality of paths toward a fulfilling existential identity. _x000B_Contrary to Kierkegaard's ideal of moral personhood and orthodox Christian identity, Mehl aims to acknowledge the possibility of pluralism in existential identities. By demanding sensitivity to the deep ways social and cultural context influences human perception, interpretation and self?representation, Mehl argues that Kierkegaard is not simply discovering but also participating in a cultural construction of the human being. _x000B_Drawing on accounts of what it is to be a person by prominent philosophers outside of Kierkegaard scholarship, including Charles Taylor, Owen Flanagan, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Thomas Nagel, Mehl also works to bridge the analytic and continental traditions and reestablishes Kierkegaard as a rich resource for situating moral and spiritual identity. This reexamination of Kierkegaard is recommended for anyone interested in what it means to be a person. _x000B_
Immigration and Multiculturalism in American Pragmatism
The catalyst for much of classical pragmatist political thought was the great waves of migration to the United States in the early twentieth century. José-Antonio Orosco examines the work of several pragmatist social thinkers, including John Dewey, W. E. B. Du Bois, Josiah Royce, and Jane Addams, regarding the challenges large-scale immigration brings to American democracy. Orosco argues that the ideas of the classical pragmatists can help us understand the ways in which immigrants might strengthen the cultural foundations of the United States in order to achieve a more deliberative and participatory democracy. Like earlier pragmatists, Orosco begins with a critique of the melting pot in favor of finding new ways to imagine the civic role of our immigrant population. He concludes that by applying the insights of American pragmatism, we can find guidance through controversial contemporary issues such as undocumented immigration, multicultural education, and racialized conceptions of citizenship.
Vol. 41 (2005) through current issue
Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society: A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy Edited by Edited by Douglas R. Anderson and Cornelis de Waal. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society has been the premier peer-reviewed journal specializing in the history of American philosophy since its founding in 1965. Although named for the founder of American pragmatism, American philosophers of all schools and periods, from the colonial to the recent past, are extensively discussed. TCSPS regularly includes essays, and every significant book published in the field is discussed in a review essay. A subscription to the journal includes membership in the Charles S. Peirce Society, which was founded in 1946 by Frederic H. Young. The purpose of the Society is to encourage study of and communication about the work of Peirce and its ongoing influence in the many fields of intellectual endeavor to which he contributed. Members meet annually in late December in conjunction with the meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division.