Preludes to Pragmatism: Toward a Reconstruction of Philosophy

Hardcover | October 24, 2012

byPhilip Kitcher

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Over the last two decades the distinguished philosopher Philip Kitcher has started to make a serious case for pragmatism as the source of a new life in contemporary philosophy. There are some, like Kitcher, who view today's analytic philosophy as mired in narrowly focused, technical disputesof little interest to the wider world. What is the future of philosophy, and what would it look like?While Classical Pragmatism - the American philosophy developed by John Dewey, Charles Peirce, and William James in the 19th century - has a mixed reputation today, Kitcher admires the way its core ideas provide a way to prioritize avenues of inquiry. As he points out, both James and Dewey shared awish to eliminate 'insignificant questions' from philosophy, and both harbored suspicion of 'timeless' philosophical problems handed down generation after generation. Rather, they saw philosophy as inherently embedded in its time, grappling with pressing issues in religion, social life, art, politics, and education. Kitcher has become increasingly moved by this reformist approach to philosophy, and the published essays included here, alongside a detailedintroduction setting out Kitcher's views, provide motivation for his view of the "reconstruction of philosophy." These essays try to install the pragmatic spirit into contemporary philosophy, renewing James and Dewey for our own times.

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Over the last two decades the distinguished philosopher Philip Kitcher has started to make a serious case for pragmatism as the source of a new life in contemporary philosophy. There are some, like Kitcher, who view today's analytic philosophy as mired in narrowly focused, technical disputesof little interest to the wider world. What...

Philip Kitcher is a Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:496 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:October 24, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019989955X

ISBN - 13:9780199899555

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Table of Contents

1. The Importance of Dewey for Philosophy (and much else besides)2. The Naturalists Return3. Real Realism: The Galilean Strategy4. On the Explanatory Role of Correspondence Truth.5. Pragmatism and Realism: A Modest Proposal6. Does 'Race' Have a Future?7. Mathematical Truth?8. Carnap and the Caterpillar9. Philosophy Inside Out10. A Pragmatist's Progress: The Varieties of James' Strategies for Defending Religion11. Challenges for Secularism12. Militant Modern Atheism13. Naturalistic Ethics without Fallacies14. The Hall of Mirrors15. Education, Capitalism, and Democracy16. Public Knowledge and its Discontents17. Varieties of Altruism