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Price: $45.00

Hardback 320 pp.
156 mm x 234 mm



Publication date:
February 2013

Imprint: OUP UK

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The American Pragmatists

Cheryl Misak

Series : The Oxford History of Philosophy

Cheryl Misak presents a history of the great American philosophical tradition of pragmatism, from its inception in the Metaphysical Club of the 1870s to the present day. She identifies two dominant lines of thought in the tradition: the first begins with Charles S. Peirce and Chauncey Wright and continues through to Lewis, Quine, and Sellars; the other begins with William James and continues through to Dewey and Rorty.

This ambitious new account identifies the connections between traditional American pragmatism and twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy, and links pragmatism to major positions in the recent history of philosophy, such as logical empiricism. Misak argues that the most defensible version of pragmatism must be seen and recovered as an important part of the analytic tradition.

Readership : Suitable for scholars and advanced students of philosophy.

Introduction: The Trajectory of American Pragmatism
Part I: The Founders of Pragmatism
1. Pragmatist Themes in Early American Thought
2. Chauncey Wright (1830-1875)
3. Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914)
4. William James (1842-1910)
5. Fellow Travelers
Part II: The Middle Period
6. The Reception of Early American Pragmatism
7. John Dewey (1859-1952)
8. Fellow Travelers
Part III: The Path to the Twenty-First Century
9. The Rise of Logical Empiricism
10. Clarence Irving Lewis (1883-1964)
11. Willard van Orman Quine (1908-2000)
12. Fellow Travellers
13. Richard Rorty (1931-2007)
14. Hilary Putnam (1926 - )
15. The Current Debates

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Cheryl Misak is Professor of Philosophy, as well as Vice-President and Provost at the University of Toronto. She received a BA from the University of Lethbridge, an MA from Columbia University, and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. She works on American pragmatism, the theory of truth, moral and political philosophy, and the philosophy of medicine. She has published and edited books with Oxford University Press, Routledge, and Cambridge University Press, and has published over forty scholarly articles. In 2008, her 'Experience, Narrative, and Ethical Deliberation' was declared one of the ten best papers in philosophy by The Philosopher's Annual. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and has been a Humboldt Fellow at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, a Visiting Fellow of St. John's College Cambridge, and a Rhodes Scholar.

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Special Features

  • A brand new account of America's great distinctive philosophical tradition.
  • Offers fascinating vignettes of American intellectual life.
  • Throws new light on the ideas of a number of great thinkers.
  • Draws together intellectual history and philosophy.
  • Informed by many years' research by a leading expert on pragmatism.
  • Shows that pragmatism is a living influence on contemporary philosophy.
  • The third volume in the new Oxford History of Philosophy series.