Michael Bacon examines how pragmatists argue for the importance of connecting philosophy to practice. In so doing, they set themselves in opposition to many of the presumptions that have dominated philosophy since Descartes. The book demonstrates how pragmatists reject the Cartesian spectator theory of knowledge, in which the mind is viewed as seeking accurately to represent items in the world, and replace it with an understanding of truth and knowledge in terms of the roles they play within our social practices.
The book explores the diverse range of positions that have engendered marked and sometimes acrimonious disputes amongst pragmatists. Bacon identifies the themes underlying these differences, revealing a greater commonality than many commentators have recognized. The result is an illuminating narrative of a rich philosophical movement that will be of interest to students in philosophy, political theory, and the history of ideas.
1. The Birth of Pragmatism: Charles Sanders Peirce and William James
2. John Dewey on Philosophy and Democracy
3. Pragmatism and Analytic Philosophy: Quine, Sellars, and Davidson
4. Neo pragmatism: Richard Rorty and Hilary Putnam
5. Between Europe and America: Jurgen Habermas and Richard J. Bernstein
6. The Return of Peirce: Susan Haack and Cheryl Misak
7. Rationalist pragmatism and pragmatic naturalism: Robert B. Brandom and Huw Price