1st Edition

Pragmatism and Social Philosophy Exploring a Stream of Ideas from America to Europe

Edited By Michael G. Festl Copyright 2021
    300 Pages
    by Routledge

    300 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores the role that American pragmatism played in the development of social philosophy in 20th-century Europe.

    The essays in the first part of the book show how the ideas of Peirce, James, and Dewey influenced the traditions of European philosophy, especially existentialism and the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, that emerged in the 20th century. The second part of the volume deals with current challenges in social philosophy. The essays here demonstrate how discussions of two core issues in social philosophy—the conception of social conflict and the public—can be enriched with pragmatist resources. In featuring both historical and conceptual perspectives, these essays provide a full picture of pragmatism’s role in the development of Continental social philosophy.

    Pragmatism and Social Philosophy will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working on American philosophy, social philosophy, and Continental philosophy.

    1. Pragmatism’s Social Philosophy: New Tiles and New Currents

    Michael G. Festl

    Part A: Pragmatism and the Birth of Social Philosophy

    I. Pragmatism and European Philosophy

    2. Paul Carus and Pragmatism. A European Philosopher in America

    James Campbell

    3. An Ethics of Exemplarity: Emerson in Germany and the Existentialist Tradition

    Dennis Sölch

    4. "To make us think, in French, things which were very new". Jean Wahl and American Philosophy

    Moritz Gansen

    II. Pragmatism and European Sociology

    5. Pragmatism and Sociology. The French Debate

    Claude Gautier and Emmanuel Renault

    6. From Pragmatic Maxim to Habit. A Theoretical and Methodological Framework through Peirce and Bourdieu

    Simone Bernardi della Rosa

    7. Florian Znaniecki and American Pragmatism: Mutual Inspirations

    Agnieszka Hensoldt

    III. Pragmatism Loved and Hated. The Case of the Frankfurt School

    8. American Pragmatism, Sociology of Knowledge, and the Early Frankfurt School

    Kenneth W. Stikkers

    9. American Pragmatism and Frankfurt School Critical Theory: A Family Drama

    Arvi Särkelä

    10. Dewey, Ebbinghaus, and the Frankfurt School: A Controversy over Kant Neither Fought Out nor Exhausted

    Cedric Braun

    Part B: The Relevance of Pragmatism for Social Philosophy

    IV. Pragmatism and Conflict

    11. Racism, Colonialism, and the Crisis of Democracy. The Contributions of W.E.B. Du Bois

    Shannon Sullivan

    12. Dynamics of Interaction. What Pragmatism Can Teach Us About Social Conflicts and Their Escalation

    Lotta Mayer

    13. Addams and Gilman. The Foundations of Pragmatism, Feminism, and Social Philosophy

    Núria Sara Miras Boronat

    V. Pragmatism and the Public

    14. Recent Problems of the Public

    Henrik Rydenfelt

    15. The Affective Side of Political Identities. Pragmatism, Populism, and European Social Theory

    Matteo Santarelli and Justo Serrano Zamora

    16. John Dewey’s Economics. A Liberal Critique of Ordoliberalism

    Christopher Gohl


    Michael G. Festl is a professor of philosophy at the University of St. Gallen. Michael has been a guest researcher in Salzburg, Chicago, and Melbourne. He wrote a book on justice and edited a handbook on pragmatism. He lives with his wife and his four children near Lake Constance.