The Sign of the Four: Italian Pragmatists retold1

European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 3 (1):147-162 (2011)
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This paper is a contribution to the study of the four classical Italian pragmatists: Papini, Prezzolini, Vailati and Calderoni. They are seen more as representatives of a pragmatist movement than as singular systematic thinkers. The center of Italian pragma-tism was the periodical, Leonardo, where these authors discussed and presented an origi-nal and provocative understanding of pragmatist philosophy. Thier understanding of pragmatist philosophy has often been underestimated by the subsequent literature. They showed a good comprehension of the novelty brought by American pragmatism but, ignoring some of the most important epistemic aspects of Peirce’s and James’s theories, their philosophical proposals often missed consistency. However, even in their misunder-standings, they signaled a need and possibly a weakness of the whole pragmatist move-ment. Italian pragmatists underlined the importance of the concreteness of individuals in the realization of universal laws of mathematics and logic, physics and psychology. But, this attitude suffered from some serious tensions between metaphysical assumptions and methodological claims



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The Pragmatist Movement in Italy.Giovanni Gullace - 1962 - Journal of the History of Ideas 23 (1):91.
Development of Logical Pragmatism in Italy.C. P. Zanoni - 1979 - Journal of the History of Ideas 40 (4):603.

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