On the Uses and On-going Relevance of Pragmatism for Communication Studies

  • Robert DanischEmail author


This chapter shows that philosophical pragmatism entails a commitment to communication and rhetorical practice. Therefore, the best way to advance the pragmatist project is to turn philosophical questions about truth, morality, logic, aesthetics, or language into rhetorical questions about the best methods or practices for citizenship, leadership, inquiry, deliberation, public argument, and community building. Furthermore, the best way to improve democratic culture (and to realize Dewey’s dream of the great community) is through attending to, promoting, and cultivating specific forms of rhetorical practice. The central claim of this essay is that by emphasizing the skills necessary for improving our circumstances and the practical application of knowledge for that task, pragmatism teaches us that rhetorical communication is the best available means of making our way as well as we can in a world marked by contingency, uncertainty, plurality, and social interaction.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication ArtsUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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