PHIL 379
American Pragmatism Fall 2017 Division II; Cross-listed as PHIL379 / AMST379
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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.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 12-15
Class#: 1428
Requirements/Evaluation: final paper, several short assignments
Prerequisites: at least two PHIL courses
Enrollment Preference: Philosophy and American Studies majors, then seniors and juniors of any major
Distributions: Division II;
Attributes: AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives; PHIL History Courses; TEAC Related Courses

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