Pragmatism and the Valuative Mind
- Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society: A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy
- Indiana University Press
- Volume 54, Number 3, Summer 2018
- pp. 341-360
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- Additional Information
In this article, I integrate pragmatic and contemporary literature to advance a valuative understanding of mind. That is, I argue valuations—taken to include emotions, interests and aesthetics—undergird cognition and perception. In making this case, I focus on James's view that selective interests bring coherence to thought and experience. I further argue that interests are emotion-like. Though substantiated on conceptual, experiential and neurobiological grounds, this gets next to no attention, even among those who claim pragmatic influences and suggest emotion intertwines with cognition, such as Damasio and Schulkin. Extending this from cognition to perception, I go on to offer a valuative account of the latter that merges James and Dewey's positions with Gestalt notions and findings from experimental research, along with Gibson's ideas, which have pragmatic bases. By pushing pragmatism a little beyond what its original authors intended, placing it next to some of its intellectual offspring and highlighting underappreciated aspects, I hope to nudge thinking on mind in new directions, while simultaneously clarifying and rendering a fuller appreciation of classical pragmatism.