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 Based on updated and expanded versions of his influential papers, as well as a number ofpreviously unpublished essays, Schwartz demonstrates the relevance of pragmatic thought to a wide range of issues beyond concerns over truth and realism that currently dominate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.
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
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.