A Critique of Talisse and Aikin’s “Why Pragmatists Cannot Be Pluralists”

The Pluralist 10 (1):107-113 (2015)
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Abstract

in 2004, Robert Talisse and Scott Aikin created a bit of a firestorm when they attacked a sacred cow of contemporary pragmatism. At a meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, Talisse and Aikin presented a paper in which they argued that pragmatists cannot be pluralists. A number of papers then appeared in the Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, responding to Talisse and Aikin. Some of the responses were quite hostile, such as the paper “You Talking to Me?” co-written by Michael Sullivan and John Lysaker. Others were more measured and reasoned, such as Cheryl Misak’s paper “Pragmatism and Pluralism.” Like these others, I aim to show that Talisse and Aikin are mistaken. However, I do think that Talisse and Aikin have presented an important challenge to pragmatists, and that pragmatists have at times perhaps endorsed pluralism a bit unreflectively. Thus, I think it is important for those of us who care about the pragmatist tradition to occasionally return to, consider, and critically engage what these authors have to say.

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Joshua Anderson
Virginia State University

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References found in this work

Pragmatism and other writings.William James - 2000 - New York: Penguin Books. Edited by Giles B. Gunn.
Why Pragmatists Cannot Be Pluralists.Robert Talisse - 2005 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 41 (1):101 - 118.

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