A Pragmatic Option

by Jay Jeffers ____ American Pragmatism has been controversial from the start. It was accused of “cosmic impiety” by Bertrand Russell, a founding father of Anglophone analytic philosophy. Rifts developed quickly even within the young school of thought, with the original pragmatist Charles Sanders Peirce renaming his approach “pragmaticism,” which he thought was “ugly enough... Continue Reading →

My Optimism, Pessimism, and Ambivalence

By Kevin Currie-Knight ____ Recently, I’ve noticed an ambivalence in my thinking about the future. At different times and in different moods I am sometimes an optimist and sometimes a pessimist. Some of things I believe about human beings and our relationships to one another and to the world make me optimistic, while other things... Continue Reading →

What Can Philosophy Actually Do?

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ Robert Gressis (Cal State Northridge), Dan Kaufman (Missouri State) and Kevin Currie-Knight (East Carolina) discuss what is and isn't realistic to expect of philosophy. Topics include realism (Rob) and antirealism (Dan and Kevin), Foundationalism (maybe Rob) and anti-Foundationalism (Dan and Kevin), and what we do when we attempt to ground... Continue Reading →

My Philosophical Temperament

By Robert Gressis ___ I find myself to be a realist. By ‘find myself’, I mean that, despite sometimes wanting to not be a realist, I keep on returning to Realism, basically on the grounds that I don’t understand any kind of Anti-Realism. My lack of understanding can be encapsulated in the following kind of... Continue Reading →

Psychologizing Philosophy: My Own Philosophical Temperament

by Kevin Currie-Knight ___ Recently, I wrote an article here defending the position -- held also by Nietzsche and William James -- that a person’s philosophy must reflect their temperament and attitude toward the world. Different folks with different temperaments (and experiences) will inevitably have at least some different starting assumptions, respond differently to different... Continue Reading →

Psychologizing Philosophy

by Kevin Currie-Knight ___ I stand with Friedrich Nietzsche and William James when (albeit in different ways) they arrive at a similar position: a person’s philosophy reflects their temperament. In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche suggested that every philosophy is “the confession of its originator, and a species of involuntary and unconscious auto-biography.” In Pragmatism,... Continue Reading →

Thought Control and Cultural Decline

by Mark English ___ Late last year I wrote a piece about censorship and humor, alluding to the fact that in times of oppression and excessive censorship, humor tends to bubble up and create a space for the expression of dissenting thoughts and feelings. The self-expression involved here may be controlled and deliberate (as in... Continue Reading →

Random Reflections on Intellectual History, Abstraction and Social and Political Values

by Mark English Complexities Terms like “pragmatism” as it applies to philosophy and the history of ideas – most isms really – are intrinsically vague and useful only to the (necessarily limited) extent that they help to bring out persistent or more fleeting strands or commonalities in thinking within or across populations. Even the views... Continue Reading →

Experiencing Nature, Naturally Experienced

by E. John Winner 1. John Dewey was one of America’s most important philosophers.  He'll be better remembered in the future than he is today.  With philosophers on both sides of the Atlantic fascinated with the ambiguities of language and otherwise unsure of what they are expected to explain – is that science or ethics... Continue Reading →

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