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Posted on August 15th, 2022 in Book, Faculty, Publication, Research by Carrie E. Foote

This book, by Professor Cornelis de Waal, engages and explains pragmatism, an approach to knowledge and philosophy that rejects outmoded conceptions of objectivity while avoiding relativism and subjectivism. It follows pragmatism’s focus on the process of inquiry rather than on abstract justifications meant to appease the skeptic. For pragmatists, getting to know the world is a creative human enterprise, wherein we fashion our concepts in terms of how they affect us practically, including in future inquiry. This book fully illuminates that enterprise and the resulting need to rethink basic philosophical conceptions, such as truth, reality, and reason.

Among other things, the book discusses:
• Classical pragmatists, including Peirce, James, Dewey, and Addams;
• Contemporary figures, including Rorty, Putnam, Haack, and West;
• Connections with other twentieth-century approaches, including phenomenology, critical theory, and logical positivism;
• Peirce’s pragmatic maxim and its relation to James’s Will to Believe;
• Applications to philosophy of law, feminism, and issues of race and racism.

Author Cornelis de Waal helps the reader recognize, understand, and assess classical and current pragmatist contributions—from Charles S. Peirce to Cornel West—evaluate existing views from a pragmatist angle, formulate pragmatist critiques, and develop a pragmatist viewpoint on a specific issue.
Click here to purchase the book on Amazon!