SAAP Annual Meeting 2014

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Can French Philosophy Take in American Pragmatism?

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This paper aims at using the story of the French reception of American pragmatism to draw the attention on general features of French philosophy and American pragmatism, and to show that, according to these features, French philosophy has yet to take in American Pragmatism. The method followed consists in spotting the point where the three most eminent French fellow travelers of pragmatism (Bergson, Wahl, Deleuze) part with it in order to circumscribe negatively and from the outside the unity of 20th French century philosophy. Two main claims are sustained. Firstly, that we can witness through their works a progressive shift from pragmatism to pluralism as the most promising philosophical conception to be brought from America. Secondly, that this pluralism without pragmatism allows them to elaborate a metaphysical empiricism grounded on the distinction between two different kinds of experience that is at odds with some fundamental tenets of pragmatism

Author(s):

St├ęphane Madelrieux    
University of Lyon 3
France

 

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