The Pragmatic Turn

The Pragmatic Turn

3.86 (46 ratings by Goodreads)

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In this major new work, Richard J. Bernstein argues that many ofthe most important themes in philosophy during the past one hundredand fifty years are variations and developments of ideas that wereprominent in the classical American pragmatists: Charles S. Peirce,William James, John Dewey and George H Mead. Pragmatism begins witha thoroughgoing critique of the Cartesianism that dominated so muchof modern philosophy. The pragmatic thinkers reject a sharpdichotomy between subject and object, mind-body dualism, the questfor certainty and the spectator theory of knowledge. They seek tobring about a sea change in philosophy that highlights the socialcharacter of human experience and normative social practices, theself-correcting nature of all inquiry, and the continuity of theoryand practice. And they-especially James, Dewey, and Mead-emphasizethe democratic ethical-political consequences of a pragmaticorientation. Many of the themes developed by the pragmatic thinkers were alsocentral to the work of major twentieth century philosophers likeWittgenstein and Heidegger, but the so-called analytic-continentalsplit obscures this underlying continuity.
Bernstein develops analternative reading of contemporary philosophy that brings out thepersistence and continuity of pragmatic themes. He criticallyexamines the work of leading contemporary philosophers who havebeen deeply influenced by pragmatism, including Hilary Putnam,Jurgen Habermas, Richard Rorty, and Robert Brandom, and heexplains why the discussion of pragmatism is so alive, varied andwidespread. This lucid, wide-ranging book by one of America'sleading philosophers will be compulsory reading for anyone whowants to understand the state of philosophy today.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 300 pages
  • 153 x 227 x 21mm | 430g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745649084
  • 9780745649085
  • 292,832

Table of contents

Preface. Prologue. 1. Charles S. Peirce's Critique of Cartesianism. 2. The Ethical Consequences of William James's PragmaticPluralism. 3. John Dewey's Vision of Radical Democracy. 4. Hegel and Pragmatism. 5. Pragmatism, Objectivity, and Truth. 6. Experience and the Linguistic Turn. 7. Hilary Putnam: The Entanglement of Fact and Value. 8. Jurgen Habermas's Kantian Pragmatism. 9. Richard Rorty's Deep Humanism. Bibliography.
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Review quote

"Whoever wants to understand how the classical pragmatism of Dewey, James and Peirce could survive a long period of harsh criticism by analytical philosophy and come to vitality again at the end of the 20th century, should read this book. It is by far the most perceptive account of the persistence of pragmatist motives and themes in contemporary philosophy. Bernstein succeeds with eloquence, perspicacity and lucidity to show us why an idea as old as one hundred years is of highest importance for our philosophical self-understanding today." Axel Honneth, University of Frankfurt "Richard Bernstein has written what is by far the best and most sophisticated account of recent and present-day pragmatist thought, including Rorty's and Brandom's. It is written with Bernstein's characteristic clarity, and it is the fruit of immense scholarship and deep thinking. It is a book that every serious student of these thinkers needs to read and think about." Hilary Putnam, Harvard University
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About Richard J. Bernstein

One of the leading American philosophers writing and teaching today, Richard J. Bernstein is Vera List Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York and former dean of its graduate faculty. Prior to that, for more than two decades he was?professor of philosophy at Haverford College. Few contemporary philosophers are as influential in so many different intellectual disciplines and discussions as Bernstein. He is at home not only among American pragmatic philosophers with whom he is so closely identified but equally with Continental thinkers.
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46 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 22% (10)
4 48% (22)
3 26% (12)
2 4% (2)
1 0% (0)
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