C.I. Lewis : The A Priori and the Given book cover
1st Edition

C.I. Lewis
The A Priori and the Given

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ISBN 9781138700871
May 4, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
336 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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 form 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 essays in this volume probe Lewis’s new account of the relation between the a priori and the given in dialogue with other notable figures in 20th-century philosophy, including Carnap, Friedman, Goodman, Putnam, Quine, Russell, Sellars, and Sheffer. C.I. Lewis represents a focused treatment of a long-neglected figure in 20th-century American philosophy.

Table of Contents


Henri Wagner

1. Sheffer, Lewis, and the ‘Logocentric Predicament’

Juliet Floyd

2. Strict Implication and the Pragmatic A Priori

Sanford Shieh

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

Henri Wagner

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

Arata Hamawaki

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

James O’Shea

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

Thomas Land

7. Goodman and the Given. What Goodman Inherits from C. I. Lewis

Quentin Kammer

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

Thomas Baldwin

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Quentin Kammer is lecturer at University of Bordeaux-Montaigne University, member of the research center "Sciences, Philosophie, Humanités". Defended in 2018, his PhD dissertation focuses on Nelson Goodman’s conception of the rightness of projection. He translated in French with Henri Wagner 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 in Philosophy at the University Bordeaux Montaigne. 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), "Conceptual Truth, Necessity, and Negation" (The Monist, 2020).

Henri Wagner is Lecturer at the University of Bordeaux Montaigne (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