1st Edition

C.I. Lewis The A Priori and the Given

    328 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    328 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This edited collection explores the philosophy of Clarence Irving Lewis through two major concepts that are integral to his conceptual pragmatism: the a priori and the given. The relation between these two elements of knowledge forms the core of Lewis’s masterpiece Mind and the World Order . While Lewis’s conceptual pragmatism is directed against any conception of the a priori as constraining the mind and experience, it also emphasizes the inalterability and the unavoidability of the given that remains the same through any interpretation of it by the mind. The chapters in this book probe Lewis’s new account of the relation between the a priori and the given in dialogue with other notable figures in twentieth-century philosophy, including Goodman, Putnam, Quine, Russell, Sellars, and Sheffer. C.I. Lewis: The A Priori and the Given represents a focused treatment of a longneglected figure in twentieth-century American philosophy.

    Introduction 1


    1 Sheffer, Lewis, and the “Logocentric Predicament” 27


    2 Strict Implication and the Pragmatic A Priori 104


    3 Aims and Claims of C. I. Lewis’s Conceptual Pragmatism 132


    4 C. I. Lewis on the Intersubjective and the Constitution of Objectivity 167


    5 Relocating the Myth of the Given in Lewis and Sellars 195


    6 Spontaneity, Sensation, and the Myth of the Given 216


    7 Goodman and the Given: What Goodman Inherits From C. I. Lewis 240


    8 C. I. Lewis: The Red and the Good 274



    Quentin Kammer is Lecturer at Bordeaux Montaigne University, France, and member of the research center “Sciences, Philosophie, Humanites.” Defended in 2018, his PhD dissertation focuses on Nelson Goodman’s conception of the rightness of projection. He, along with Henri Wagner, translated in French, Lewis’s “A Pragmatic Conception of the A Priori ” and Goodman’s “Snowflakes and Wastebaskets” devoted to Lewis’s pragmatism.

    Jean-Philippe Narboux is currently Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bordeaux Montaigne University, France. His recent articles include “Is Self-Consciousness Consciousness of One‘s Self?,” in Wittgenstein and Phenomenology (Routledge, 2018), “Anscombe’s Account of Voluntary Action in Intention ” ( Enrahonar , 2020), and “Conceptual Truth, Necessity, and Negation” ( The Monist , 2020).

    Henri Wagner is Lecturer at Bordeaux Montaigne University, France. He mainly works on philosophy of logic and language. He is the editor of Hilary Putnam (Klēsis , no. 47, 2020) and has recently published “The Significance of the Division of Linguistic Labor” ( The Monist , volume 103, Issue 4, October 2020, 381–390).

    "This book explores the major themes of what C.I. Lewis’s called his ‘conceptual pragmatism’, the Pragmatic a-priori and the Given element in experience, as they appear in his brilliant Mind and The World Order, and his contributions to Logic leading up to that work. These essays bring Lewis’s views into confrontation with other giants of age such as Carnap, Friedman, Goodman, Putnam, Quine, Russell, Sellars, and Sheffer, producing conversations crucial for understanding Lewis’s role in the emergence of philosophy as we understand it today."Eric Dayton, University of Saskatchewan, Canada