SAAP Annual Meeting 2014

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Pragmatism as Mediator and Reconciler

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In The American Pragmatists, Cheryl Misak argues that the central debate within pragmatism is one “between those who assert that there is no truth and objectivity to be had anywhere and those who take pragmatism to promise an account of truth that preserves our aspiration to getting things right.” (Misak 2013, 3) I argue that there is a better way to draw the lines Misak wants to draw, a deeper and more instructive distinction in pragmatism of which the quarrels about truth are merely derivative. I sketch and defend pragmatism’s “mediating and reconciling” side and argue what divides Misak’s two camps of pragmatists isn’t really a quarrel about truth per se. It is rather a metaphilosophical dispute regarding what philosophy is, what it is good for, and the direction it would ideally take in the future.

Author(s):

David Rondel    
University of Nevada, Reno
United States

 

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