PHIL 379 American Pragmatism

Last offered Fall 2013

Cross Listed as AMST379
Along with jazz, pragmatism stands as the greatest uniquely American contribution to world culture. As the music wails in the background, we will study the classic pragmatists: William James, C. S. Peirce, and John Dewey. We will continue with the contemporary inheritors of the tradition: Cornel West, Richard Rorty, and Hilary Putnam. Although it has influenced both analytic and continental philosophy, pragmatism is a powerful third philosophical movement. Always asking what practical difference would it make, our authors investigate the central questions and disputes of philosophy, from epistemology and metaphysics to ethics and religion. Rather than seeing philosophy as an esoteric discipline, the pragmatic philosophers (with the possible exception of Peirce) see philosophy as integral to our culture and see themselves as public intellectuals.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: final paper, several short assignments
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Prerequisites: at least two PHIL courses
Enrollment Preference: first to Philosophy and American Studies majors, and then to seniors and juniors of any major
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives, PHIL History Courses,TEAC Related Courses
Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 12-15
Class Number: 1404
PHIL 379 SEM American Pragmatism Division 2: Social Studies Steven B. Gerrard
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