Pragmatic Perspectives : Constructivism beyond Truth and Realism book cover
1st Edition

Pragmatic Perspectives
Constructivism beyond Truth and Realism

ISBN 9781138049116
Published July 25, 2019 by Routledge
204 Pages

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Book Description

For a good part of the 20th century, the classic Pragmatists—Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and John 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 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 Based on updated and expanded versions of his influential papers, as well as a number of previously unpublished essays, in this book Schwartz demonstrates the relevance of pragmatic thought to a wide range of issues beyond concerns over truth and realism that currently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 essays elaborate and defend pragmatic, instrumentalist, and constructivist conceptions of truth and inquiry, moral discourse and ethical statements, perception, art, and worldmaking. 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

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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