The Disunity of Pragmatism

Russian Journal of Philosophical Sciences 7:143-157 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Pragmatism is usually viewed as a unifed school, movement or tradition. Lists of its most important tenets typically include advocacy of open inquiry, pursued with an awareness of human fallibility, a view of justifcation that appeals to shared experience in all its manifestations – aesthetic, religious, moral, political and scientifc – and a conception of philosophy as a practice interwoven with problems of contemporary life. While disagreements among pragmatists are widely acknowledged, they are most often treated as easily resolved or of marginal importance given the substantial body of doctrine that pragmatists are thought to share. I argue that this view of pragmatism obscures important philosophical differences among its proponents, to the serious detriment of our understanding of the tradition. I point out that fgures most often credited with advancing pragmatism – Charles Peirce, William James, John Dewey, W.V. Quine, Hilary Putnam and Richard Rorty – defend signifcantly divergent views, views that are anything but easy to reconcile. Their differences go to the very heart of how pragmatism is to be understood and defended and present serious obstacles to any characterization of it as a tradition with a common philosophical method, purpose or core set of doctrines. Pragmatism is far more diverse, subtle and diffcult to come to terms with than contemporary accounts of what is living and dead in it commonly presume.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,038

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Five Answers on Pragmatism.Susan Hacck - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 12 (24):1-14.
Pragmatism, Old and New.Susan Haack - 2004 - Contemporary Pragmatism 1 (1):3-41.
Language is a form of experience: Reconciling classical pragmatism and neopragmatism.Colin Koopman - 2007 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 43 (4):694 - 727.
Perspectives on pragmatism: classical, recent, and contemporary.Robert Brandom - 2011 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Quine and pragmatism.Heikki J. Koskinen & Sami Pihlström - 2006 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 42 (3):309-346.
Pragmatism: An Introduction.Michael Bacon - 2012 - Malden, MA: Polity.
Five Answers on Pragmatism.سوزان هاک - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 12 (24):1-14.
Quine's Pragmatic Ontology.Leemon McHenry - 1995 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 2 (9):147-158.
Pragmatism and political theory: from Dewey to Rorty.Matthew Festenstein - 1997 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
What Pragmatism Was.F. Thomas Burke - 2013 - Bloomington, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.
Pragmatism, realism, and religion.Michael R. Slater - 2008 - Journal of Religious Ethics 36 (4):653-681.
100 Years of Pragmatism: William James's Revolutionary Philosophy.John J. Stuhr (ed.) - 2009 - Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-10-04

Downloads
25 (#634,027)

6 months
7 (#431,609)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Paul Forster
University of Ottawa

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.W. Quine - 1951 - [Longmans, Green].
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
Epistemology Naturalized.W. V. Quine - 1969 - In Willard van Orman Quine (ed.), Ontological Relativity and Other Essays. Columbia University Press.
The roots of reference.W. V. Quine - 1974 - LaSalle, Ill.,: Open Court.
The Will to Believe.W. James - 1896 - Philosophical Review 6:88.

View all 11 references / Add more references