The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce through the Present

Princeton University Press
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The Pragmatism Reader is the essential anthology of this important philosophical movement. Each selection featured here is a key writing by a leading pragmatist thinker, and represents a distinctively pragmatist approach to a core philosophical problem. The collection includes work by pragmatism's founders, Charles Peirce, William James, and John Dewey, as well as seminal writings by mid-twentieth-century pragmatists such as Sidney Hook, C. I. Lewis, Nelson Goodman, Rudolf Carnap, Wilfrid Sellars, and W.V.O. Quine. This reader also includes the most important work in contemporary pragmatism by philosophers like Susan Haack, Cornel West, Hilary Putnam, Richard Rorty, Cheryl Misak, and Robert Brandom. Each selection is a stand-alone piece--not an excerpt or book chapter--and each is presented fully unabridged.

The Pragmatism Reader challenges the notion that pragmatism fell into a midcentury decline and was dormant until the advent of "neopragmatism" in the 1980s. This comprehensive anthology reveals a rich and highly influential tradition running unbroken through twentieth-century philosophy and continuing today. It shows how American pragmatist philosophers have contributed to leading philosophical debates about truth, meaning, knowledge, experience, belief, existence, justification, and freedom.


  • Covers pragmatist philosophy from its origins to today

  • Features key writings by the leading pragmatist thinkers

  • Demonstrates the continuity and enduring influence of pragmatism

  • Challenges prevailing notions about pragmatism

  • Includes only stand-alone pieces, completely unabridged

  • Reflects the full range of pragmatist themes, arguments, concerns, and commitments

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About the author

Robert B. Talisse is professor of philosophy at Vanderbilt University. His books include A Pragmatist Philosophy of Democracy. Scott F. Aikin is senior lecturer in philosophy at Vanderbilt. He is the coauthor, with Robert Talisse, of Pragmatism: A Guide for the Perplexed.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Mar 21, 2011
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Pages
504
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ISBN
9781400838684
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / History & Surveys / Modern
Philosophy / Movements / Pragmatism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Metaphysical Club is the winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for History.

A riveting, original book about the creation of modern American thought.

The Metaphysical Club was an informal group that met in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1872, to talk about ideas. Its members included Oliver Well Holmes, Jr., future associate justice of the United States Supreme Court; William James, the father of modern American psychology; and Charles Sanders Peirce, logician, scientist, and the founder of semiotics. The Club was probably in existence for about nine months. No records were kept. The one thing we know that came out of it was an idea -- an idea about ideas. This book is the story of that idea. Holmes, James, and Peirce all believed that ideas are not things "out there" waiting to be discovered but are tools people invent -- like knives and forks and microchips -- to make their way in the world. They thought that ideas are produced not by individuals, but by groups of individuals -- that ideas are social. They do not develop according to some inner logic of their own but are entirely depent -- like germs -- on their human carriers and environment. And they thought that the survival of any idea deps not on its immutability but on its adaptability. The Metaphysical Club is written in the spirit of this idea about ideas. It is not a history of philosophy but an absorbing narrative about personalities and social history, a story about America. It begins with the Civil War and s in 1919 with Justice Holmes's dissenting opinion in the case of U.S. v. Abrams-the basis for the constitutional law of free speech. The first four sections of the book focus on Holmes, James, Peirce, and their intellectual heir, John Dewey. The last section discusses some of the fundamental twentieth-century ideas they are associated with. This is a book about a way of thinking that changed American life.

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