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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.
The Foundations of Pragmatism in American Thought series offers two sets of volumes containing the most significant defenses and critiques of pragmatism written before World War I: the Early Defenders of Pragmatism and Early Critics of Pragmatism. This, the first collection, Early Defenders, provides key texts for understanding the context of pragmatism's years of greatest vitality.
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