Pragmatic Perspectives: Constructivism beyond Truth and Realism, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Pragmatic Perspectives

Constructivism beyond Truth and Realism, 1st Edition

By Robert Schwartz


200 pages

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Hardback: 9781138049116
pub: 2019-08-07
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For a good part of the twentieth century, the classic pragmatists—Peirce, James, and Dewey—and pragmatism in general were largely ignored by analytic philosophers. They were said to hold such untenable views as whatever best satisfies our needs is true and that the end justifies the means. Despite a recent revival of interest in these figures, spurred largely by the work of Richard Rorty, it is not uncommon to continue to hear the claims that pragmatism is a subjectivist, anti-realist position that denies that there is a mind-independent world, and fails to place objective constraints on inquiry.

In this book, Robert Schwartz dispels these traditional views by examining the empiricist and constructivist orientation of the classic pragmatists. Based on updated and expanded versions of his influential papers, as well as a number ofpreviously unpublished essays, Schwartz demonstrates the relevance of pragmatic thought to a wide range of issues beyond concerns over truth and realism that currently dominate discussions. The individual chapters elaborate and defend pragmatic, instrumentalist, and constructivist conceptions of truth and inquiry, moral discourse and ethical statements, perception, art, and world-making. Pragmatic Perspectives will appeal to scholars interested in the history of American philosophy and pragmatic approaches to contemporary issues in analytic philosophy.

Table of Contents


Part I: Background

1. Whatever Happened to Pragmatism + Reflections

2. Pragmatic Inquiry and the "Go" of Truth

3. Epistemology: Inquiry or Knowledge

4. Pragmatic Inquiry and Knowledge

Part II: Constructivism

5. I'm Going to Make You a Star

6. Starting from Scratch: Making Worlds

7. The Power of Pictures

8. Creating Art, Creating Reality: A Wild(e) View of Art

Part III: Values and Ethics

9. The Facts about Facts

10. Pragmatic Constructivism: Values, Norms, and Obligations

Part IV: Perception

11. Veridicality in Berkeley's Theory of Vision

12. Pluralist Perspectives on Perceptual Error

13. Perceptual Veridicality

About the Author

Robert Schwartz is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has taught at Rockefeller University and CUNY, and been a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Chicago. He is the author of: Vision: Variations on Some Berkeleian Themes, Visual Versions, and Rethinking Pragmatism

About the Series

Routledge Studies in American Philosophy

This series is dedicated to monographs and essay collections that examine, from diverse theoretical perspectives, any aspects of America’s rich web of philosophical traditions, from the 17th Century onwards. Frequently associated with pragmatism, particularly in the United States, American philosophy also encompasses many other schools of thought, and has had a significant impact on the development of contemporary epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, and political philosophy. By publishing outstanding treatments of its many diverse threads, this series aims to become the default resource for scholars and students interested in a full picture of American philosophy.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Movements / Pragmatism