Pragmatism as Naturalized Hegelianism: Overcoming Transcendental Philosophy?

Review of Metaphysics 46 (2):343 - 368 (1992)
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FROM ITS INCEPTION PRAGMATISM HAS DISPLAYED an ambivalent relation to Hegelianism. John Dewey conceived his experimentalism as a more modest alternative to Hegel's system of absolute idealism, which he deemed "too grand for present tastes." At the same time, pragmatists from James and Dewey to Quine and Rorty have all assimilated important Hegelian motifs. These include most importantly a deep suspicion of modern representationalist epistemology, in both its rationalist and empiricist versions; a conception of intelligence as a form of practice, best conceived in terms of making, doing, and acting; and a commitment to a nonreductionist, holistic appreciation of our beliefs about the world. To this list Rorty adds an appreciation of Hegel's conception of the philosophical enterprise as Nachdenken, as a kind of edifying recollective summary.



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