The Pragmatic Mind: Explorations in the Psychology of Belief

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Overview

The Pragmatic Mind is a study of the pragmatism of Emerson, James, and Peirce and its overlooked relevance for the neopragmatism of thinkers like Richard Rorty, Stanley Cavell, Stanley Fish, and Cornel West. Arguing that the "original" pragmatists are too-often cited casually and imprecisely as mere precursors to this contemporary group of American intellectuals, Mark Bauerlein explores the explicit consequences of the earlier group’s work for current debates among and around the neopragmatists.
Bauerlein extracts from Emerson, James, and Peirce an intellectual focus that can be used to advance the broad social and academic reforms that the new pragmatists hail. He claims that, in an effort to repudiate the phony universalism of much contemporary theory, the new generation of theorists has ignored the fact that its visions of pragmatic action are grounded in this "old" school, not just in a way of doing things but also in a way of thinking about things. In other words, despite its inclination to regard psychological questions as irrelevant, Bauerlein shows that the pragmatic method demands a pragmatic mind—that is, a concept of cognition, judgment, habit, and belief. He shows that, in fact, such a concept of mind does exist, in the work of the "old" pragmatists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Bauerlein has written a closely argued and rigorously organized philosophical study that has importance for thinkers who are philosophers, literary critics, and cultural critics. It is a book that should be read by all neopragmatists.”—John Carlos Rowe, University of California at Irvine
Booknews
This book examines the conceptual connections between pragmatic method and pragmatic mind in the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, William James, and Charles Sanders Peirce. Bauerlein (English, Emory) discusses concepts such as pragmatic cognition, James's psychology of pragmatic thinking, Peirce's logic of pragmatic inference, and neopragmatism's foundations. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface: Pragmatism and Criticism
Introduction 1
1 Thinking in the Emersonian Way 7
2 William James's Psychology of Pragmatic Thinking 37
3 Peirce's Logic of Pragmatic Inference 65
Epilogue 99
Notes 113
Index 135
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