The Varieties of Pragmatism

The Varieties of Pragmatism

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For much of the twentieth century, many Anlgo-American philosophers supported three theses - one about reality, one about truth, and one about human knowledge - that, taken together, underwrote debates in epistemology. The first was realism: the commonsensical-sounding view that the world of physical objects exists independently of human thought or language. The second was the correspondence theory of truth, according to which true statements or beliefs are those accurately represent the way the world is. And the third was foundationalism: the view that our knowledge of the world, like an edifice, must rest on firm foundations. In the last two decades, however, a radical anti-epistemology movement led by the influential American philosopher Richard Rorty has put patisans of all three theses on the defensive.In this important new book, Douglas McDermid argues persuasively for two key claims: first, that the so-called 'Neo-Pragmatist' critique of traditional epistemology is thoroughly unconvincing; second, that Rorty is guilty of taking the name of Pragmatism in vain, since there are crucial and far-reaching differences between Neo-Pragmatism ad the Classical Pragmatism of james and Dewey.
The Varieties of Pragmatism will take its place in the forefront of the literature on this most vital part of the American philosophical legacy. Douglas McDermid teaches Philosophy at Trent University, Canada.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 12.7mm | 420g
  • Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 0826487211
  • 9780826487216

Table of contents

1. Pragmatism: Deconstruction or Reconstruction?; 2. Pragmatism and the Correspondence Theory of Truth; 3. The Comparison Objection: Pragmatism and Foundationalism; 4. The Constructivist Objection: Pragmatism and Realism; 5. Correspondence: Denied or Merely Demystified?; 6. Towards An Anatomy of Pragmatism; 7. Rorty, Neo-Pragmatism, and The End of Epistemology; 8. Why Can't Epistemology Be 'Foundational'?; 9. Does Epistemology Rest on a Mistake? Rorty on Scepticism; 10. Epilogue: Putting Pragmatism In Perspective; Appendix: Rorty, Truth and Non-Cognitivism; Bibliography; Index.
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Review quote

"'... It is so carefully written and argued, with so serious and successful an exposition and examination of the key doctrines involved, that one could hardly find a better introduction to its subject matter or a more judicious treatment of its themes. It is also a pleasure to read.' Ernest Sosa, Brown University 'In this clear and engaging book, Douglas McDermid gives us the first comprehensive account of classical and contemporary pragmatist arguments against the correspondence theory of truth. Anyone interested in the pragmatist account of truth - indeed, in any account of truth - will find this book a tremendously useful resource.' Cheryl Misak, University of Toronto"
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About Dr. Douglas McDermid

Douglas McDermid teaches philosophy at Trent University, Ontario. He has published more than a dozen articles in various philosophical journals.
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