Tag Archives: Pragmatism

Commitment and Reality: From Kant to Peirce

There was more implied in Kant’s theory of knowledge than the fact that what we see is not an objective world in itself, but rather a picture that is created by us based on sense experience. (As if that wasn’t enough.) Besides stating that we are in an essential way the creators of the world […]

Kant and the Creation of Reality

The American Philosophers from the Transcendentalists to the Pragmatists were all following in the footsteps of the great German Idealist Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804). This isn’t too surprising because all of Western Philosophy follows in the footsteps of Kant. In 1781 Kant published The Critique of Pure Reason and rocked the world of philosophy. […]

Evolutionary Enlightenment and American Philosophy

Before continuing with our fascinating discussion I wanted, in the interest of transparency, to tell a little more about my interest in American Philosophy. The last decades of the 20th century saw a resurgence of interest in progressive and evolution thinking in both academic as well as popular philosophy. The author Louis Menand in his […]

Why do worldviews clash?

I am fascinated by the discussion that has ensued based on my last post and I hope to tempt your considerable powers of inquiry in a direction that I have been contemplating in response to your comments. I have been thinking about how challenging philosophical discussion can be and I think that part of that […]

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Conception of Nature

The Pragmatic definition of truth may have deep roots in American thought, but to uncover the metaphysical conception that is the ground under Pragmatism’s feet we should look one generation earlier into the mind of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson’s Transcendentalism, which recognizes intuition and not logic as the ultimate source of wisdom, stands in opposition […]

Evolutionary Spirituality and American Philosophy

It is perhaps not surprising that all of the popular contemporary forms of evolutionary spirituality are engaged with the same ethical question that Peirce, James and Dewey attempted to answer. Does the reality of evolution affect the way human beings should live? This question arises naturally with the introduction of an evolutionary worldview that sees […]

If Pragmatism was so great, what happened to it?

Pragmatism was a powerful force in World Philosophy during the early decades of the twentieth century. Then the First World War erupted, followed by the Great Depression, and later the horror of the Second World War. With these events, the progressive modernism, of which Pragmatism was surely a part, began to fall out of favor. […]

Freewill, To Believe or Not To Believe

I saw that both Carl and Brian noticed my use of the phrase “caved in” in expressing the fact that I was not convinced about the Behaviorist view. There is so much fantastic insight in all of the comments that have gone up from all of you, but I wanted first to use this phrase […]

John Dewey and the Unity of Mind and Matter

One of the challenges of the philosophy of Pragmatism is that it is too easy to reduce its complexity and subtlety to simple utilitarianism. Some of the same language that William James used to almost single handedly popularized Pragmatism into an international philosophic sensation probably also exasperated this problem. Statements like, “Grant an idea or […]

Pragmatism – The Western Law of Karma

It occurred to me that now would be as good a time as any to talk a little bit about truth and inquiry. I am reading Charles Sanders Peirce right now so that has given me a lot to think about. Peirce (pronounced “purse”) was the originator of the conception of Pragmatism although it was […]