SAAP Annual Meeting 2013

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The Range of Lincoln's Pragmatism

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James Campbell
The University of Toledo
United States

This paper considers the extent to which Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was a pragmatist. After noting that in the last two decades of his life he defended an inconsistent set of values that he applied selectively in different political situations, the paper suggests that his sort of political adaptability is only a small part of Lincoln’s pragmatism. There are, however, a number of specific areas in his thought that reflect fundamental pragmatic values.


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