there has been a recent resurgence of pragmatism1 in sociopolitical theory, one in which pragmatism is presented as offering an alternative and promising approach to nonideal theories of justice. This may seem ironic since the record of the classical pragmatists on being explicit about justice or the injustices of their time in their philosophical corpus is a mixed one at best. However, this has not stopped recent philosophers from continuing to draw from the philosophical resources in this tradition to address (...) the injustices of today. The title of the 2014 SAAP presidential address by Ken Stikkers was “Toward a.. (shrink)
the saap 2020 conference in mexico is the culmination of an internal and gradual transformation in SAAP that has taken many years. I came to this organization as a graduate student. I was then the only Latino and Leonard Harris the only African American philosopher in SAAP. Thanks to the efforts of many scholars and presidents, SAAP has come to recognize the important philosophical contributions of female, African American, Indigenous, and Latinx philosophers. Let's not take for granted how we got (...) here, celebrate what we have, and keep moving in the direction of an even better pluralism, a commitment at the heart of those American philosophers that we teach and write about.This essay is inspired by this momentous... (shrink)
pragmatism has been appropriated and welcomed in Latin America because there is much prior practice and circumstance that makes for a good fit, and not simply because it was an external solution to local problems. In fact, many developments have already occurred in Latin America that, although not directly influenced by John Dewey, are better examples of his methods and ideas than what occurs north of the Rio Grande.1 Indeed, when Dewey was in Mexico, he was impressed with their educational (...) reforms,2 while Sandinista Nicaragua, as Joe Betz has argued, exemplifies “the social experimentation Dewey called for in his 1935 ‘Liberalism and Social Action.’”3This paper provides new evidence that the ideas and practices in... (shrink)
Language fails not because thought fails, but because no verbal symbols can do justice to the fullness and richness of thought. In his later works, more specifically in his seminal 1930 essay “Qualitative Thought”, John Dewey questioned some of the traditional assumptions about the nature and function of the qualitative in inquiry. Dewey foresaw what recent scientific accounts of human thinking are confirming: it is more complex, less linear, more emotional, affective, bodily-based, non-reflective, non-linguistic, non-conscious than philosophers have assumed. Secondary (...) sources on Dewey have emphasized how, contrary to orthodoxy, inquiry is social, instrumental, and experimental, but for... (shrink)
This chapter makes the claim that pragmatism is a philosophy that affirms and reflects values that are predominant and are cherished by Latin, not North American culture. It breaks the thesis up into five parts. They include an exploration of philosophy and culture, the values and vices of Anglo-Saxon and Latin culture, pragmatism, Anglo vices and Latin traits, pragmatism and the balance of America, and a Latinization of America.
In this essay I pay homage to one of the most important but neglected philosophers of liberation in Latin America, Luis Villoro, by considering what possible lessons we can learn from his philosophy about how to approach injustices in the Americas. Villoro was sympathetic to liberatory-leftist philosophies but he became concerned with the direction they took once they grew into philosophical movements centered on shared beliefs or on totalizing theories that presume global explanatory power. These movements became vulnerable to extremes (...) or vices that undermine their liberatory promise. I examine some of these worrying tendencies among that body of literature roughly described as “decolonial thought” (e.g., Enrique Dussel, Walter Mignolo). After a concise presentation of Villoro and the decolonial turn, I consider four dangers that this new liberatory-leftist movement faces and why Villoro should be a significant voice as the decoloniality debate moves forward. (shrink)
we have recently seen the publication of several books on the narrative and identity of Pragmatism. Perhaps this is a sign that, after the first decade of the twenty-first century, scholars of Pragmatism now have the required distance or historical perspective to be confident about the history of Pragmatism in the twentieth century. In this paper, I examine the narratives of Pragmatism in Richard Bernstein’s The Pragmatic Turn and Colin Koopman’s Pragmatism as Transition.1 In spite of their differences, these scholars (...) argue for an inclusive “big-tent” Pragmatism.2 Their view of Pragmatism in America is optimistic and reconciliatory about the past, present, and future tensions that exist between pragmatist .. (shrink)
Dewey provides an ethics that is committed to those aspects of experience that have been associated with the "feminine." In addition to an argument against the devaluation of the affective and of concrete relationships, we also find in Dewey's ethics a thoughtful appreciation of how and why these things are essential to our moral life. In this article I consider the importance of the affective and of relationships in Dewey's ethics and set out aspects of Dewey's ethics that might be (...) useful resources for feminist writers in ethics. (shrink)
The work of Risieri Frondizi is an important historical and philosophical connection between the Hispanic world and American philosophy. Frondizi shares with the classical American pragmatists, especially with John Dewey, the same criticism of the starting point of modern philosophy, and a defense of ‘experience’ as the proper basis for any philosophical inquiry. Moreover, Frondizi can be read as making significant and original contributions to the history of doctrines such as pragmatism, which take ‘experience’ as their starting point.
I attempt to find an adequate answer to the two following basic issues of an ethics of belief: How do we determine what we ought to believe? What dispositions and abilities ought one to develop in order to lead a responsible "doxastic life"? I consider first how the traditional but still predominant view is in need of a radical revision and then propose a new and more promising pragmatic position. ;In an introductory chapter I elucidate the scope, richness, and contemporary (...) relevance of the above issues. In the second chapter I show the inadequacy of the "epistemicist" ethics of belief. This view assumes the ideal of the epistemically responsible believer and holds that the only legitimate justification for any belief comes from an epistemic point of view. I argue that the restriction to epistemic considerations, goals, and virtues is unwarranted, and that even the most flexible recent versions of this tradition are not without difficulties. ;In third chapter I consider the alternative view of William James. I argue that this view avoids many of the pitfalls of the epistemic tradition. Convinced that the views of William James on the ethics of belief have not been given their due, I try to develop a treatment of the topic that goes beyond the usual discussions of "The Will to Believe" and considers all of James' published and unpublished manuscripts. James' view suggests that a pragmatists needs to be committed to a "situation" ethics of belief. James also takes us in the direction of a more inclusive ideal, a more promising and flexible understanding of rationality. ;In the final chapter, I propose a basic sketch of a pragmatist position which goes beyond James and is nurtured by the insights of John Dewey. I first consider what are the fundamental differences between the traditional view presented in Chap II and a general pragmatic approach to the issues of the ethics of belief. Then, in the remainder of the chapter, I examine the plausibility of complementing the situation approach with a virtue approach. Pragmatism is presented as taking a positive stand on what constitutes an ideal believer and its ideal community or way of life. (shrink)
The book will prove an invaluable source for philosophers and philosophy students, as well as for scholars from other disciplines (e.g., history, political science, sociology, diversity studies, and gender and race studies) to begin understanding the dynamic relationship in thinking between the two Americas. In addition to documenting the results of a new and thriving area of research, it can also function as a primer to direct and provoke further inquiry. -/- Its essays, from North American, Spanish, and Latin American (...) scholars, fill a void in the humanities and introduce a number of Hispanic pragmatists who have not been included in standard pragmatist texts. (shrink)
John Dewey and the Contemporary “Deliberative Turn” in Political TheoryIn recent years Political Theory and Socio-Political Philosophy has experienced what has been called a “deliberative turn”. I argue against the recent proclamations of John Dewey as a predecessor, an influence, or as a founding father of deliberative democracy, and instead use Dewey to suggest some serious limitations of Deliberative democracy to deal with the challenges we face in the 21st century in our counterfeit democracy, such as the new forms of (...) emotional and visual persuasion.. Deliberative democratic thinkers share with Dewey the concern that the quality of deliberation in our “democracy” continues to deteriorate, but they assume a restrictive “rationalism” and constricted view of what goes on “in” and “around” deliberation. As important as public deliberation was for Dewey, the “turn” that he hoped for in the philosophy of democracy was towards a view of democracy as experience. (shrink)
American Philosophy is the first introduction to the tradition of American philosophy that frames the history of the philosophical ideas in the history of America. This is an extraordinary accomplishment that is long overdue. The book tells the story of a philosophical tradition that is shaped by, and critically reacts to, major events in the history of the USA. In their introduction, McKenna and Pratt explain what the American philosophical tradition stood for. For many of the philosophers mentioned in this (...) volume any worthwhile philosophy “should be understood as an activity that arises from experience” and must be committed to ongoing reconstruction of present circumstances as they are lived. Consistent... (shrink)
Leonard Harris’s work on Alain Locke and insurrectionism are invaluable contributions to American philosophy, but for some reason his “insurrectionist challenge to Pragmatism” gets the most attention; it presses Pragmatism to show how it can facilitate insurrection and revolt against moral abominations such as oppression, racism, and slavery. For some, the implication of the challenge is that Pragmatism and insurrectionism are incompatible; for others, there is still hope that at least future Pragmatism could meet the challenge. But overall the legitimacy (...) or soundness of the insurrectionist challenge has not been questioned. Pragmatism does have weaknesses and should be subject to criticism, but I argue that none of the arguments presented by Harris, and repeated by others, undermine the adequacy of Pragmatism in any significant way. Pragmatism is compatible or includes everything that Harris accuses it of lacking, or it has good reasons not to meet his expectations of adequacy. (shrink)
in "whites: made in america," the Rev. Thandeka takes on the issues that have recently been in the minds of many Americans in light of racial problems and the shocking results of the elections: "What is going on?" She does not pretend to provide a full diagnosis, but argues that there is a need for a new conceptual shift and new target of our inquiries. Thandeka argues that underneath the veil of whiteness, there are troublesome feelings and emotions that need (...) to be revealed and, if possible, transformed. What we find are not feelings of racial supremacy, but feelings of "fear, dread, confusion, anger, rage, shame, anxiety, sorrow, embarrassment, humiliation, and loss."1 Historical events have helped create "the... (shrink)
International Relations's intellectual history is almost always treated as a history of ideas in isolation from both those discursive and political economies which provide its disciplinary and wider context. This paper contributes to this wider analysis by focusing on the impact of the field's discursive economy. Specifically, using Foucaultian archaeologico-genealogical strategy of problematization to analyse the emergence and disciplinary trajectories of Constructivism in IR, this paper argues that Constructivism has been brought gradually closer to its mainstream Neo-utilitarian counterpart through a (...) process of normalization, and investigates how it was possible for Constructivism to be purged of its early critical potential, both theoretical and practical. The first part of the paper shows how the intellectual configuration of Constructivism and its disciplinary fortunes are inseparable from far-from-unproblematic readings of the Philosophy of Social Science: the choices made at this level are neither as intellectually neutral nor as disciplinarily inconsequential as they are presented. The second and third parts chart the genealogies of Constructivism, showing how its overall normalization occurred in two stages, each revolving around particular practices and events. The second part concentrates on older genealogies, analysing the politics of early classificatory practices regarding Constructivism, and showing how these permitted the distillation and immunization of Constructivism – and thus of the rest of the mainstream scholarship which it was depicted as compatible with – against more radical Postmodernist/Post-structuralist critiques. Finally, the third part focuses attention on recent genealogies, revealing new attempts to reconstruct and reformulate Constructivism: here, indirect neutralization practices such as the elaboration of ‘Pragmatist’ Constructivism, as well as the direct neutralization such as the formulation of ‘Realist’ Constructivism, are key events in Constructivism's normalization. These apparently ‘critical’ alternatives that aim to ‘provide the identity variable’ in fact remain close to Neo-utilitarianism, but their successful representation as ‘critical’ help neutralize calls for greater openness in mainstream IR. Rather than a simple intellectual history, it is this complex process of reading and producing that counts as ‘Constructivism’, which explains both the normalization of Constructivism and the continued marginalization of Postmodernist/Post-structuralist approaches in mainstream IR's infra-disciplinary balance of intellectual power. (shrink)
Risieri Frondizi was arguably the Latin American philosopher with the strongest personal ties to philosophy in North America. His relation with North American philosophers was key to his philosophical development. Frondizi won a scholarship to do advanced studies at Columbia University in New York. This chapter explores Frondizi's thought and questions whether his philosophy was consonant enough with the core philosophical insights of pragmatism to consider him part of the pragmatist family.
E n e s t e e n s a y o a r g u me n t o q u e l ametafilosofía de los pragmatistas es lacontribución más importante de estosf i l ós of os a l a hi s t or i a de l a f i l os of í ay es t ambi én l o que l os di st i ngue deot ros f i l ósof os. Los f i (...) l ósof os cl ási cosamericanos y losfilósofos pragmatistas hispanos, Ortegay Gasset y Risieri Frondizi, propusieronque l a f i l osof í a debe de part i r desdel a experi enci a, es deci r, un punt o departida práctico. Despues de explicar quésignifica sostener que la experiencia es elpunto de partida, examino las razonesque tienen estos filósofos para sostenerque la experiencia es el punto de partidaapropiado si se quiere que la filosofía seaempírica y relevante. In this paper the metaphilosophy of pragmatists is the most important contribution of these philosophers to the history of philosophyand is also what distinguishes them fromother philosophers. The classic Americanphilosophers and the Hispanic philosophers, Ortega yGasset and Risieri Frondizi, proposed thatphilosophy must start from experience.After explaining what it means to takeexperience as the starting point, I examinethe reasons that pragmatists philosophershave for holding the view that experienceshould be the starting point if philosophyis to be empirical and relevant. (shrink)
There are remarkable similarities in the philosophical starting points and conclusions of Peirce and Ortega, in spite of the fact that they belong to different intellectual and cultural traditions. In this paper a common topic, central to their pragmatic view, is studied: the distinction between indubitable and doubtable beliefs, between "creencias" and "ideas".