Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 1, No. 1 (June 2004), 3-41 Editions Rodopi © 2004 Susan Haack Susan Haack The reformist philosophy of the classical pragmatist tradition has gradually evolved into the now-fashionable revolutionary styles of pragmatism, some scientistic, some literary. This evolution is traced from Peirce, James, Dewey, and Mead, through Schiller, Lewis, Hook, and Quine, to Rorty's literary-political neo-pragmatism. Rather than get hung up on the question of which variants qualify as authentic pragmatism, it is better -- more fruitful, and appropriately forwardlooking -- to ask what we can learn from the older tradition, and what we can salvage from the new. It has probably never happened that a philosopher has attempted to give a general name to his own doctrine without that name's soon acquiring, in general philosophical usage, a signification much broader than was originally intended.... Charles Peirce (CP 5.413) There never was such confusion. The tower of Babel was monotony in comparison. ...Dewey is obscure; Schiller bumptious and hasty; James's doctrine of radical empiricism ... has been confounded with pragmatism; pragmatism itself covers two or three distinct theories ... the upshot has made one despair of man's intelligence. But little by little the mud will
Contemporary Pragmatism – Brill
Published: Apr 21, 2004
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