SAAP Annual Meeting 2015

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The Pragmatist's Approach to Injustice

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The record of the classical Pragmatists on being explicit about justice or the injustices of their time is a mixed one at best. However, this has not stopped recent philosophers from continuing to draw from the philosophical resources in this tradition to address the injustices of today (e.g., Cornel West, Eddie Glauge, Shannon Sullivan, Melvin Rogers, Jose Medina, Elizabeth Anderson, Ken Stikkers). What is it about this philosophical tradition that seems worth reconstructing? I argue an approach to problems of injustice, but that in order to advance this metaphilosophy we need to reexamine its basic tenets and how it differs from views whose starting point is some grand historical account of injustice or a sociological structural account of injustice. The Pragmatist’s methodological prescription to be sensitive to the concrete problems of injustice turns out to be a more demanding and “unorthodox” prescription than E.Anderson and others think.


Gregory Pappas    
Texas A & M University
United States


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