Smile when you’re winning: how to become a Cambridge pragmatist

In Sheryl Misak Huw Price (ed.), The Practical Turn: Pragmatism in Britain in the Long Twentieth Century. British Academy (2016)
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The aim of this paper is to trace the development of a particular current of thought known under the label ‘pragmatism’ in the last part of the Twentieth century and the beginning of the Twenty-first. I address three questions about this current of thought. First, what is its actual historical development? Second, does it constitute a single, coherent, philosophical outlook? Third, in what form, if any, does it constitute an attractive philosophical outlook. In the course of addressing these questions I identify a potential tension between the two main proponents of this current of thought (Huw Price and Simon Blackburn), namely the attitude they take to what I refer to as their ‘naturalist master narrative’.

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Hallvard Lillehammer
Birkbeck College, University Of London

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