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Overview

Although long considered the most distinctive American contribution to philosophy, pragmatism—with its problem-solving emphasis and its contingent view of truth—lost popularity in mid-century after the advent of World War II, the horror of the Holocaust, and the dawning of the Cold War. Since the 1960s, however, pragmatism in many guises has again gained prominence, finding congenial places to flourish within growing intellectual movements. This volume of new essays brings together leading philosophers, ...
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The Revival of Pragmatism: New Essays on Social Thought, Law, and Culture

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Overview

Although long considered the most distinctive American contribution to philosophy, pragmatism—with its problem-solving emphasis and its contingent view of truth—lost popularity in mid-century after the advent of World War II, the horror of the Holocaust, and the dawning of the Cold War. Since the 1960s, however, pragmatism in many guises has again gained prominence, finding congenial places to flourish within growing intellectual movements. This volume of new essays brings together leading philosophers, historians, legal scholars, social thinkers, and literary critics to examine the far-reaching effects of this revival.
As the twenty-five intellectuals who take part in this discussion show, pragmatism has become a complex terrain on which a rich variety of contemporary debates have been played out. Contributors such as Richard Rorty, Stanley Cavell, Nancy Fraser, Robert Westbrook, Hilary Putnam, and Morris Dickstein trace pragmatism’s cultural and intellectual evolution, consider its connection to democracy, and discuss its complex relationship to the work of Emerson, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein. They show the influence of pragmatism on black intellectuals such as W. E. B. Du Bois, explore its view of poetic language, and debate its effects on social science, history, and jurisprudence. Also including essays by critics of the revival such as Alan Wolfe and John Patrick Diggins, the volume concludes with a response to the whole collection from Stanley Fish.
Including an extensive bibliography, this interdisciplinary work provides an in-depth and broadly gauged introduction to pragmatism, one that will be crucial for understanding the shape of the transformations taking place in the American social and philosophical scene at the end of the twentieth century.

Contributors. Richard Bernstein, David Bromwich, Ray Carney, Stanley Cavell, Morris Dickstein, John Patrick Diggins, Stanley Fish, Nancy Fraser, Thomas C. Grey, Giles Gunn, Hans Joas, James T. Kloppenberg, David Luban, Louis Menand, Sidney Morgenbesser, Richard Poirier, Richard A. Posner, Ross Posnock, Hilary Putnam, Ruth Anna Putnam, Richard Rorty, Michel Rosenfeld, Richard H. Weisberg, Robert B. Westbrook, Alan Wolfe


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Editorial Reviews

Alan Ryan
Among the pleasures of the volume are some essays that stray outside the usual fare of philosophylaw and political theory....Just as pragmatists repudiated any idea that truth was a matter of our minds picturing the way the world really isso they repudiated any idea that mind was other than an aspect of our bodily selves. So do we all when we are not led astray by philosophers. —The New York Times Book Review
Alan Ryan
Among the pleasures of the volume are some essays that stray outside the usual fare of philosophy, law and political theory....Just as pragmatists repudiated any idea that truth was a matter of our minds picturing the way the world really is, so they repudiated any idea that mind was other than an aspect of our bodily selves. So do we all when we are not led astray by philosophers.
The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822382522
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 11/2/1998
  • Series: Post-Contemporary Interventions
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Morris Dickstein

Morris Dickstein is Distinguished Professor of English at Queens College and at the Graduate School of the City University of New York. His previous books include Double Agent: The Critic and Society and Gates of Eden: American Culture in the Sixties.

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Table of Contents


Contents

Acknowledgments


Introduction: Pragmatism Then and Now


Dickstein
Morris




WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES PRAGMATISM MAKE? THE VIEW FROM PHILOSOPHY

Pragmatism as Romantic Polytheism


Rorty
Richard




Pragmatism and Realism


Putnam
Hilary




Response to Hilary Putnam's “Pragmatism and Realism”


Morgenbesser
Sidney




The Moral Impulse


Putnam
Ruth Anna




What's the Use of Calling Emerson a Pragmatist?


Cavell
Stanley





PRAGMATISM AND THE REMAKING OF SOCIAL THOUGHT

Pragmatism: An Old Name for Some New Ways of Thinking?


Kloppenberg
James T.




Pragmatism and Democracy: Reconstructing the Logic of John Dewey's Faith


Westbrook
Robert B.




Community in the Pragmatic Tradition


Bernstein
Richard J.




Another Pragmatism: Alain Locke, Critical “Race” Theory, and the Politics of Culture


Fraser
Nancy




Going Astray, Going Forward: Du Boisian Pragmatism and Its Lineage


Posnock
Ross




The Inspiration of Pragmatism: Some Personal Remarks


Joas
Hans




The Missing Pragmatic Revival in American Social Science


Wolfe
Alan




Pragmatism and Its Limits


Diggins
John Patrick





PRAGMATISM AND LAW

Pragmatic Adjudication


Posner
Richard A.




Freestanding Legal Pragmatism


Grey
Thomas C.




What's Pragmatic about Legal Pragmatism?


Luban
David




Pragmatism and Law: A Response to David Luban


Rorty
Richard




It's a Positivist, It's a Pragmatist, It's a Codifier! Reflections on Nietzsche and Stendhal


Weisberg
Richard H.




Pragmatism, Pluralism, and Legal Interpretation: Posner's and Rorty's Justice without Metaphysics Meets Hate Speech


Rosenfeld
Michel





PRAGMATISM, CULTURE, AND ART

Why Do Pragmatists Want to Be Like Poets?


Poirier
Richard




Pragmatists and Poets: A Response to Richard Poirier


Menand
Louis




The Novelist of Everyday Life


Bromwich
David




When Mind Is a Verb: Thomas Eakins and the Work of Doing


Carney
Ray




Religion and the Recent Revival of Pragmatism


Gunn
Giles





AFTERWORD

Truth and Toilets: Pragmatism and the Practices of Life


Fish
Stanley





Selected Bibliography


Contributors


Index

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