The Decline and Resurgence of American Pragmatism: W. V. Quine and Richard Rorty

  • Cornel West
Part of the Language, Discourse, Society book series


Although American pragmatism is widely regarded as the distinctive American philosophy, it has never been hegemonic in the academic profession of philosophy. Even during the heyday of James and Dewey, old forms of idealism and new versions of naturalism and realism dominated the major philosophy departments in the country. Moreover, the major followers of James and Dewey tended not to be influential professional philosophers, but rather engaged public philosophers. There indeed were exceptions, most notably Ralph Barton Perry (a realist pupil of James) and C. I. Lewis (a self-styled conceptual pragmatist), both at Harvard. Yet in large measure American pragmatism did not gain a large following in the higher echelons of the academy.


Epistemic Justification Infinite Regress Observable Object American Pragmatism Intellectual Style 
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Copyright information

© The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cornel West
    • 1
  1. 1.Princeton UniversityUSA

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