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Pragmatism: An Introduction provides an account of the arguments of the central figures of the most important philosophical tradition in the American history of ideas, pragmatism. This wide-ranging and accessible study explores the work of the classical pragmatists Charles Sanders Peirce, William James and John Dewey, as well as more recent philosophers including Richard Rorty, Richard J. Bernstein, Cheryl Misak, and Robert B. Brandom. Michael Bacon examines how pragmatists argue for the importance of connecting philosophy to practice. In so doing, they set themselves in opposition to many of the presumptions that have dominated philosophy since Descartes. The book demonstrates how pragmatists reject the Cartesian spectator theory of knowledge, in which the mind is viewed as seeking accurately to represent items in the world, and replace it with an understanding of truth and knowledge in terms of the roles they play within our social practices. The book explores the diverse range of positions that have engendered marked and sometimes acrimonious disputes amongst pragmatists. Bacon identifies the themes underlying these differences, revealing a greater commonality than many commentators have recognized. The result is an illuminating narrative of a rich philosophical movement that will be of interest to students in philosophy, political theory, and the history of ideas.
Recovers classical pragmatism from recent deconstructive interpretations.
This is the definitive companion to the study of pragmatism. It provides students with a thorough and philosophically rigorous introduction to all the major thinkers, issues and debates. Ideal for use on undergraduate courses, but also of lasting value for postgraduate students, the structure and content of this textbook closely reflect the way pragmatism is studied and taught. Clearly structured and easy to navigate, the text provides a historical overview of the subject, placing pragmatism in a historical, cultural and social context and including coverage of the major classical American pragmatists: Peirce, James and Dewey. It goes on to explore the role of pragmatism in contemporary philosophy, specifically in relation to political theory, legal theory, ethics, epistemology and philosophy of science. Crucially, the book encourages students to engage in pragmatist thinking for themselves by illustrating a pragmatic approach to doing philosophy. John Capp's cogent and thorough analysis is supplemented by student-friendly features, including chapter summaries, discussion questions, and a comprehensive guide to further reading.
Rorty seeks to tie philosophy's past to its future by connecting what he sees as the positive (and neglected) contributions of the American pragmatic philosophers to contemporary European developments. What emerges from his explorations is a revivified version of pragmatism that offers new hope for the future of philosophy."Rorty's dazzling tour through the history of modern philosophy, and his critical account of its present state (the best general introduction in print), is actually an argument that what we consider perennial problems--mind and body, consciousness and objects, the foundations of knowledge, the fact/value distinction--are merely the dead-ends this picture leads us into." Los Angeles Times Book Review"It can immediately be said that Consequences of Pragmatism must be read by both those who believe that they agree and those who believe that they disagree with Richard Rorty. [He] is far and away the most provocative philosophical writer working in North America today, and Consequences of Pragmatism should make this claim even stronger."The Review of Metaphysics"Philosophy, for Rorty, is a form of writing, a literary genre, closer to literary criticism than anything else, a criticism which takes for one of its major concerns the texts of the past recognized as philosophical: it interprets interpretations. If anyone doubts the continued vigor and continuing relevance of American pragmatism, the doubts can be laid to rest by reading this book." Religious Studies Review
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Pragmatism and American Experience provides a lucid and elegant introduction to America's defining philosophy. Joan Richardson charts the nineteenth-century origins of pragmatist thought and its development through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, focusing on the major first- and second-generation figures and how their contributions continue to influence philosophical discourse today. At the same time, Richardson casts pragmatism as the method it was designed to be: a way of making ideas clear, examining beliefs, and breaking old habits and reinforcing new and useful ones in the interest of maintaining healthy communities through ongoing conversation. Through this practice we come to perceive, as William James did, that thinking is as natural as breathing, and that the essential work of pragmatism is to open channels essential to all experience.

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