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Philosophy General

Cambridge Pragmatism

From Peirce and James to Ramsey and Wittgenstein

by (author) Cheryl Misak

Publisher
Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2016
Category
General
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780198712077
    Publish Date
    Aug 2016
    List Price
    $63.00
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780198822608
    Publish Date
    Aug 2018
    List Price
    $27.50

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Description

Cheryl Misak offers a strikingly new view of the development of philosophy in the twentieth century. Pragmatism, the home-grown philosophy of America, thinks of truth not as a static relation between a sentence and the believer-independent world, but rather, a belief that works. The founders of pragmatism, Peirce and James, developed this idea in more (Peirce) and less (James) objective ways.

The standard story of the reception of American pragmatism in England is that Russell and Moore savaged James's theory, and that pragmatism has never fully recovered. An alternative, and underappreciated, story is told here. The brilliant Cambridge mathematician, philosopher and economist, Frank Ramsey, was in the mid-1920s heavily influenced by the almost-unheard-of Peirce and was developing a pragmatist position of great promise. He then transmitted that pragmatism to his friend Wittgenstein, although had Ramsey lived past the age of 26 to see what Wittgenstein did with that position, Ramsey would not have like what he saw.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Cheryl Misak is Professor of Philosophy, and former Provost, at the University of Toronto. She works on American Pragmatism, ethics, and the philosophy of medicine, and is the author of The American Pragmatists, Truth and the End of Inquiry, Truth, Politics, Morality: Pragmatism and Deliberation, and Verificationism: Its History and Prospects.

Other titles by Cheryl Misak