Native Pragmatism

Native Pragmatism : Rethinking the Roots of American Philosophy

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Pragmatism is America's most distinctive philosophy. Generally it has been understood as a development of European thought in response to the "American wilderness." A closer examination, however, reveals that the roots and central commitments of pragmatism are indigenous to North America. Native Pragmatism recovers this history and thus provides the means to re-conceive the scope and potential of American philosophy. Pragmatism has been at best only partially understood by those who focus on its European antecedents. This book casts new light on pragmatism's complex origins and demands a rethinking of African American and feminist thought in the context of the American philosophical tradition. Scott L. Pratt demonstrates that pragmatism and its development involved the work of many thinkers previously overlooked in the history of more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 153.9 x 232.7 x 21.3mm | 476.28g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 1 index
  • 0253215196
  • 9780253215192
  • 893,741

Review quote

Accepting the common view that pragmatism is the uniquely American philosophy, Pratt (Univ. of Oregon) maintains that much of what American philosophy is known for can be traced to its origins in the borderlands between Europe and America and its 'originality' to well-established aspects of Native American thought. At these borderlands, he discerns the emergence of an attitude of resistance to the attitudes of European colonialism. This new attitude drove commitments to interaction, pluralism, community, and growth, the core of pragmatic thought. He plumbs Native American thought for sources of these commitments; he argues for the influence of a Native Prophetic movement on Benjamin Franklin, whose ideas in turn influenced the initial formulation of pragmatism by Peirce and James. He also asserts a prominent role for Native thought in the development of the women's movement. Readers may be skeptical regarding the extent to which Native thought shaped pragmatism, and Pratt admits that his volume is not intended as a comprehensive history, but rather as an additional perspective. Read as such, this is an interesting and insightful study of the origins of American pragmatism. For general readers and upper-division undergraduates through faculty.S. C. Pearson, emeritus, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Read as such, this is an interesting and insightful study of the origins of American pragmatism. For general readers and upper-division undergraduates through faculty., Choice, November 2002 "... [T]his is an interesting and insightful study of the origins of American pragmatism." -Choice, November 2002show more

About Scott L. Pratt

Scott L. Pratt is Associate Professor of Philosophy and head of the Philosophy Department at the University of Oregon. He received his B. A. in philosophy from Beloit College (Wisconsin) and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He teaches American Philosophy and the history of Modern European Philosophy, and is co-editor of American Philosophies: An Anthology and The Philosophical Writings of Cadwallader more

Table of contents

ContentsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. The Problem of Origins2. American Pragmatism3. The Colonial Attitude4. American Progress5. The Indigenous Attitude6. Welcoming the Cannibals7. The Logic of Place8. "This Very Ground"9. Science and Sovereignty10. The Logic of Home11. Feminism and PragmatismConclusion: The Legacy of Native American ThoughtNotesWorks Cited Indexshow more

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