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Reinventing Pragmatism

Reinventing Pragmatism [PDF]

In contemporary philosophical debates in the United States "redefining pragmatism" has become the conventional way to flag significant philosophical contests and to launch large conceptual and programmatic changes. This book analyzes the contributions of such developments in light of the classic formulations of Charles S. Peirce and John Dewey and the interaction between pragmatism and analytic philosophy. American pragmatism was revived quite unexpectedly in the 1970s by Richard Rorty's philosophical heterodoxy and his running dispute with Hilary Putnam, who, like Rorty, is a professed Deweyan.

Reinventing Pragmatism examines the force of the new pragmatisms, from the emergence of Rorty's and Putnam's basic disagreements of the 1970s until the turn of the century. Joseph Margolis considers the revival of a movement generally thought to have ended by the 1950s as both a surprise and a turn of great importance. The quarrel between Rorty and Putnam obliged American philosophers, and eventually Eurocentric philosophy as a whole, to reconsider the direction of American and European philosophy, for instance in terms of competing accounts of realism and naturalism.

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