PHIL 379
American Pragmatism Spring 2025
Division II
Cross-listed AMST 379

Class Details

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: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 12-15
Class#: 3527
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: final paper, several short assignments
Prerequisites: at least three PHIL courses
Enrollment Preferences: Philosophy and American Studies majors, then seniors and juniors of any major
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
PHIL 379 Division II AMST 379 Division II
Attributes: AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives
PHIL History Courses
TEAC Related Courses

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