The Pragmatic Turn

The Pragmatic Turn In This Major New Work, Richard J Bernstein Argues That Many Of The Most Important Themes In Philosophy During The Past One Hundred And Fifty Years Are Variations And Developments Of Ideas That Were Prominent In The Classical American Pragmatists Charles S Peirce, William James, John Dewey And George H Mead Pragmatism Begins With A Thoroughgoing Critique Of The Cartesianism That Dominated So Much Of Modern Philosophy The Pragmatic Thinkers Reject A Sharp Dichotomy Between Subject And Object, Mind Body Dualism, The Quest For Certainty And The Spectator Theory Of Knowledge They Seek To Bring About A Sea Change In Philosophy That Highlights The Social Character Of Human Experience And Normative Social Practices, The Self Correcting Nature Of All Inquiry, And The Continuity Of Theory And Practice And They Especially James, Dewey, And Mead Emphasize The Democratic Ethical Political Consequences Of A Pragmatic Orientation Many Of The Themes Developed By The Pragmatic Thinkers Were Also Central To The Work Of Major Twentieth Century Philosophers Like Wittgenstein And Heidegger, But The So Called Analytic Continental Split Obscures This Underlying Continuity Bernstein Develops An Alternative Reading Of Contemporary Philosophy That Brings Out The Persistence And Continuity Of Pragmatic Themes He Critically Examines The Work Of Leading Contemporary Philosophers Who Have Been Deeply Influenced By Pragmatism, Including Hilary Putnam, Jurgen Habermas, Richard Rorty, And Robert Brandom, And He Explains Why The Discussion Of Pragmatism Is So Alive, Varied And Widespread This Lucid, Wide Ranging Book By One Of America S Leading Philosophers Will Be Compulsory Reading For Anyone Who Wants To Understand The State Of Philosophy Today. A Sea Change In PhilosophyIn 1967, a young philosopher, Richard Rorty, prepared an anthology called The Linguistic Turn which consisted of Rorty s own introduction together with many seminal articles in the analytic or linguistic philosophy which then dominated philosophy departments in American universities The title of Richard Bernstein s book, The Pragmatic Turn 2010 is only one of many allusions to Rorty Rorty and Bernstein are lifelong friends who studied philosophy together as undergraduates at the University of Chicago and who subsequently did their graduate work together at Yale Borrowing in his turn a phrase from the philosopher Donald Davidson, Rorty described a sea change in recent philosophical thought resulting from the growing influence of American pragmatism Rorty wrote If the change of which Davidson spoke is someday recognized as having occurred then Peirce, James, and Dewey may cease to be treated as provincial figures They may be given the place I think they deserve in the story of the West s intellectual progress Pragmatism as a sea change in philosophical thinking is the dominant theme of Be
A wonderful introduction to pragmatism subtle, reader friendly, judiciously built up They don t teach a lot of American pragmatism in European philosophy departments I find The New School sent me this book when I applied there I didn t go in the end but am very glad I got this book out of it He skillfully blends chapters that focus on a single pragmatist thinker with chapters that focus on themes such as Hegel and pragmatism Throughout, he preserves his distinctive style, judging fellow pragmatists with great sympathy, bringing out their greatest achievements, but also without ever losing his critical distance This is especially well done in the chapter on Habermas Bernstein is on top of the metaphysical debates the pragmatists engaged in see the chapters on Peirce, Brandom, Putnam and he manages to skillfully interweave it with t
Bernstein does a fantastic job of introducing the pragmatic themes present from Hegel to Brandom Bernstein obviously has a very deep background in the history of pragmatism, and the individual thinkers involved in the movement The best section, in my opinion, was the very personal final chapter on Richard Rorty, a close friend of Bernstein s for over 50 years until Rorty s death The critique Bernstein provides is extremely personal, and in a sense, moving He knows Rorty personally, and that aids him in his task of explaining what made the Richard Rorty tick However, a proviso I want to add is that the final lines of Bernstein s book vindicate Rorty s overall project Rorty wanted to be a conversationalist a philosopher not a term he d like who engaged in and stimulated conversations within his speaking community Bernstein admits that even the harshest critics of Rorty cannot deny that he stimulated conversation than any other philosopher of
Much technical than I expected The middle 60% of the book might be best suited for philosophy scholars rather than laypersons like myself Although a difficult read, I enjoyed the book a great deal Besides learning a great deal about the three founders of pragmatism Pierce, James, and Dewey , my chief takeaway was the stance of Bernstein s pragmatism as being simultaneously useful in practice as well as unconstrained in regards to rigid dichotomies in thinking If Philosophy with a capital P does still play a role in solving problems today, Bernstein s case that pragmatism is the most promisin
A very inconsistent book Excellent chapters on Peirce and Dewey, but rather weak ones on James and Rorty Plus, there was no wrap up, which seemed weird It just ended with some nice comments on Rorty. Pragmatism with Dick.

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  • Paperback
  • 263 pages
  • The Pragmatic Turn
  • Richard J. Bernstein
  • English
  • 09 January 2017
  • 9780745649085