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Undergraduate and Graduate Programs 2023-2024

AMER 448 American Pragmatism

The purpose of this course is to examine the contribution of American Pragmatism to intellectual thought and contemporary criticism. We will read during the first two-thirds of the semester the writing of two "classical" American Philosophers, William James and John Dewey, as well as selected texts from the intellectual forefather of American Pragmatism, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Pragmatism offers, among other things, distinctive accounts of knowledge, ethics, social progress, democracy, the individual, social conflict, self-expression, the scientific method, culture, and education. We will examine many of these in detail and then in the last portion of the semester turn to contemporary advocates of Pragmatism (such as Richard Rotry, Cornel West, and Richard Posner) in order not only to identify lines of continuity and break between classical and contemporary pragmatism, but also to critically assess the contributions of each to ongoing social inquiry and criticism. Credit units: 3 ECTS Credit units: 5.

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