Course Description for Pragmatism

PHP5794: Pragmatism
Pre-req: Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics or admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics or permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. Pragmatism is perhaps the most enduring and respected of the distinctly American philosophies. Controversial since its beginnings in the latter half of the 19th Century, many contemporary philosophers still embrace it today, in spite of its persistent critics. In this course, we will examine the writings of major pragmatists, both historical and contemporary. Among the philosophers whose views we will examine are James, Peirce, and Dewey. For each philosopher, our task will be to understand both what the philosopher's views are and how those views relate to the views of other pragmatists. The goal is to arrive at a broad understanding of just what it means to be a pragmatist. In addition, we will critically evaluate each individual's views, and the views of pragmatists more generally.