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Pragmatism without Progress: Affect and Temporality in William James’s Philosophy of Hope

Pragmatism without Progress: Affect and Temporality in William James’s Philosophy of Hope Philosophers and intellectual historians generally recognize pragmatism as a philosophy of progress. For many commentators, pragmatism is tied to a notion of progress through its embrace of meliorism – a forward-looking philosophy that places hope in the future as a site of possibility and improvement. I complicate the progressive image of hope generally attributed to pragmatism by outlining an alternative account of meliorism in the work of William James. By focusing on the affectivity and temporality of James’s meliorism, I argue that James offers a non-progressivist version of hope that is affectively tempered by melancholy and oriented temporally toward the present. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Pragmatism without Progress: Affect and Temporality in William James’s Philosophy of Hope

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 16 (1): 25 – Feb 22, 2019

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-0161116
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Philosophers and intellectual historians generally recognize pragmatism as a philosophy of progress. For many commentators, pragmatism is tied to a notion of progress through its embrace of meliorism – a forward-looking philosophy that places hope in the future as a site of possibility and improvement. I complicate the progressive image of hope generally attributed to pragmatism by outlining an alternative account of meliorism in the work of William James. By focusing on the affectivity and temporality of James’s meliorism, I argue that James offers a non-progressivist version of hope that is affectively tempered by melancholy and oriented temporally toward the present.

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Feb 22, 2019

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