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Philosophy General

The Practical Turn

Pragmatism in Britain in the Long Twentieth Century

edited by Cheryl Misak & Huw Price

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2017
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2017
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American pragmatism, born in the 1870s in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has as its central insight the idea that our philosophical concepts of truth, knowledge, probability, and so on must start with, and remain linked to, human experience and inquiry.

This book traces and assesses the strong influence of American pragmatism on British philosophy, with particular emphasis on Cambridge during the inter-war period, on post-war Oxford, and on recent developments. Most philosophers would say that American pragmatism received only a hostile reception in England when the ideas first travelled across the Atlantic. But this volume argues that the movement of pragmatist ideas in Britain was a strong and important current, cutting new channels to fruitful ways of thinking about philosophy's most profound problems. Its ideas have found a home in the work of Wittgenstein, Ramsey, Anscombe and, more recently, Simon Blackburn and Huw Price.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Cheryl Misak works on pragmatism, C.S. Peirce, the history of analytic philosophy and philosophy of medicine. Her 2016 book Cambridge Pragmatism: From Peirce and James to Ramsey and Wittgenstein traced the pragmatism that originated in Cambridge, Massachusetts to its manifestation in Cambridge, England. She is a former provost of the University of Toronto and is currently writing an intellectual biography of Frank Ramsey.

Huw Price writes on pragmatism, philosophy of language, metaphysics, and the philosophy of physics. He is currently Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He is also Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk and the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence. Before moving to Cambridge in 2011 he was Challis Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Time at the University of Sydney.

Other titles by Cheryl Misak

Other titles by Huw Price