Advertisement

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

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Epistemic Justification Infinite Regress Observable Object American Pragmatism Intellectual Style 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 3.
    Edmund Husserl, “Philosophy as Rigorous Science,” Phenomenology and the Crisis of Philosophy, ed. and trans. Quentin Laver (New York: Harper and Row, 1965). This essay was first published in 1910.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Martin Heidegger, Being and Time , trans. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson (New York: Harper and Row, 1962). It appeared in 1927.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness, trans. Hazel E. Barnes (New York: Pocket Books, 1956). It was first published in 1943.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks ed. and trans. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith (New York: International Publishers, 1971), pp. 348–49, 372–73, 391.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    Willard Van Orman Quine, “Two Dogmas of Empiricism,” From a Logical Point of View ( New York: Harper, 1963 ), pp. 40–41.Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    W. V. Quine, “Grades of Theoreticity,” in Experience and Theory, ed. L. Foster and J. W. Swanson ( Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1970 ), p. 2.Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    W. V. Quine, “Epistemology Naturalized,” Ontological Relativity and Other Essays ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1969 ), pp. 82–83.Google Scholar
  8. 17.
    W. V. Quine, “The Pragmatists’ Place in Empiricism,” in Pragmatism: Its Sources and Prospects, ed. Robert J. Mulvaney and Philip M. Zeltner ( Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1981 ), pp. 33–34.Google Scholar
  9. 23.
    Nelson Goodman, “The Way the World Is,” Problems and Projects ( New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1972 ), pp. 29–30.Google Scholar
  10. 25.
    Nelson Goodman, Ways of Worldmaking ( Indianapolis: Hackett, 1978 ), p. 138.Google Scholar
  11. 30.
    Wilfred Sellars, “Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind,” in Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 1, ed. Herbert Feigl and Michael Scriven (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1956 ), p. 289.Google Scholar
  12. 34a.
    John I. McDermott, The Culture of Experience: Philosophical Essays in the American Grain (New York: New York University Press, 1976 ).Google Scholar
  13. 34.
    McDermott, Streams of Experience: Reflections on the History and Philosophy of American Culture( Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1986 ).Google Scholar
  14. 35a.
    John Smith, The Spirit of American Philosophy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1963).Google Scholar
  15. 35b.
    Smith, Themes in American Philosophy (New York: Harper and Row, 1970).Google Scholar
  16. 35c.
    Smith, Purpose and Thought: The Meaning of Pragmatism ( New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978 ).Google Scholar
  17. 36a.
    Richard J. Bernstein, John Dewey (Atascadero, Calif.: Ridgeview, 1965).Google Scholar
  18. 36b.
    Bernstein, Praxis and Action (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1971).Google Scholar
  19. 36c.
    Bernstein, Beyond Objectivism and Relativism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983 ); Bernstein, Philosophical Profiles ( Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986 ).Google Scholar
  20. 36d.
    Bernstein, Philosophical Profiles ( Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986 ).Google Scholar
  21. 37a.
    Morton White, Social Thought in America (Boston: Beacon Press, 1957).Google Scholar
  22. 37b.
    White, Science and Sentiment in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972).Google Scholar
  23. 37c.
    White, Pragmatism and the American Mind (New York: Oxford University Press, 1973).Google Scholar
  24. 37d.
    White, The Philosophy of the American Revolution ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1978 ).Google Scholar
  25. 38.
    Richard Rorty, “Pragmatism, Categories, and Language,” Philosophical Review, 70 (1961), 197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 44.
    Richard Rorty, “Introduction: Metaphilosophical Difficulties of Linguistic Philosophy,” in The Linguistic Turn: Recent Essays in Philosophical Method ed. Richard Rorty (Chicago, 1967), p. 33.Google Scholar
  27. 50.
    Richard Rorty, “The World Well Lost,” Journal of Philosophy 69, no. 19 (October 26, 1972), 665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 55.
    Richard Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature ( Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979 ), p. 6.Google Scholar
  29. 70.
    Richard Rorty, “Solidarity or Objectivity?” in Post-Analytic Philosophy, ed. John Rajchman and Cornel West (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985 ), p. 16.Google Scholar
  30. 72.
    Fredric Jameson, “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism,” New Left Review no. 146 (July-August 1984), p. 65.Google Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cornel West
    • 1
  1. 1.Princeton UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations