Abstract

Recently John Dewey scholars such as David Hildebrand have made some ambitious claims about the capacity of Deweyan pragmatism to transcend the contemporary realism/anti-realism debate. I demonstrate that in one part of this debate, concerning the reality of the past, Deweyan pragmatism shares too many affinities with anti-realism to justify Hildebrand's claims. These affinities should not weaken the appeal of a pragmatist philosophy of the past (including the historical past). However, I argue that this philosophy needs to be supported by a stronger realism concerning the data from which—on the pragmatist and anti-realist understanding—the past is inferentially reconstructed.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9587
Print ISSN
0009-1774
Pages
pp. 401-422
Launched on MUSE
2011-01-12
Open Access
No
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