SAAP Annual Meeting 2013

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Affirmation, Maturation, and Hope: Pragmatism's Contribution

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Stephen Rowe
Grand Valley State University
United States

Abstract:
Pragmatism can help us address the problems associated with the unsustainable and undesirable qualities of modernity. For pragmatism arises from awareness of the insufficiency of modernity as a replacement for the traditions it displaced. Pragmatism emerges from existential encounter with nihilism, the conscious decision to affirm life, and commitment to ongoing refinement of that affirmation. It is, then, a movement beyond the reduction of all relationships to interest and power with which pragmatism is often confused. However, the vitality of pragmatism does not become accessible through a structure of concepts, but only through its engagement in the world, through actual addressing of those problems of modernity, reappropriating resources for effective living from the traditions which were rejected in the rush to modernization, and working on these tasks alongside others from diverse traditions and cultures in the thick democratic relationality of a global age.

 

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