By John J. Stuhr
William James claimed that his Pragmatism: a brand new identify for a few outdated methods of considering may end up effective and epoch-making. at the present time, after greater than a hundred years, how is pragmatism to be understood? What has been its cultural and philosophical effect? Is it an important source for present difficulties and for all times and suggestion sooner or later? John J. Stuhr and the celebrated participants to this multidisciplinary quantity tackle those questions, situating them in own, philosophical, political, American, and worldwide contexts. attractive James in unique methods, those eleven essays probe and expand the importance of pragmatism as they specialise in 4 significant, overlapping topics: pragmatism and American tradition; pragmatism as a mode of considering and settling disagreements; pragmatism as conception of fact; and pragmatism as a temper, angle, or temperament.
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Extra info for 100 Years of Pragmatism: William James's Revolutionary Philosophy
Kallen adopted James’s philosophical ideas of consciousness, experience, toleration, pluralism, and experimentation, from which he forged the theory of cultural pluralism with which he became identified. Rather than insisting that one’s identity is always fixed by one’s grandparents, to use a formulation often associated with Kallen, or offering his now equally familiar image of American society as a symphony in which various ethnic groups represent different groups of instruments, Kallen at first sought 18 • James T.
But of course people and their needs and desires change constantly, in rhythms that even the most dynamic buildings cannot match; efforts to find architectural versions of the dynamism of music or of life necessarily encounter obstacles. Buildings, like cities, emerge from the interactions between architects, engineers, funding sources, and those who will inhabit them. 35 But the method of truth testing that James addressed in Pragmatism cannot very easily be translated into the more or less fixed forms that buildings and cities assume.
Many studies have shown what went wrong. Dewey’s own emphasis on rigor and his insistence on balancing the transmission of information—or “content”—with the training of skills was lost when his ideas about teaching, ideas that he shared with James, escaped from the classrooms of exceptional, and exceptionally well-trained, teachers into the classrooms of the often unimaginative and ill-prepared cadres who fanned out into America’s schools. Debates about the adequacy of pragmatist education resemble debates about the adequacy of Christian ethics: neither has been tried outside a few select and usually short-lived experiments.