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Promise of Pragmatism Modernism and the Crisis of Knowledge and Authority

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ISBN-10: 0226148785

ISBN-13: 9780226148786

Edition: 1994

Authors: John Patrick Diggins

List price: $44.00
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Description:

For much of our century, pragmatism has enjoyed a charmed life, holding the dominant point of view in American politics, law, education, and social thought in general. After suffering a brief eclipse in the post-World War II period, pragmatism has experienced a revival, especially in literary theory and such areas as poststructuralism and deconstruction. In this critique of pragmatism and neopragmatism, one of our leading intellectual historians traces the attempts of thinkers from William James to Richard Rorty to find a response to the crisis of modernism. John Patrick Diggins analyzes the limitations of pragmatism from a historical perspective and dares to ask whether America's one original contribution to the world of philosophy has actually fulfilled its promise. "Diggins, an eminent historian of American intellectual life, has written a timely and impressive book charting the rich history of American pragmatism and placing William James, Charles Peirce, John Dewey, George Herbert Mead, Sidney Hook, and Richard Rorty in their times and in the light of contemporary concerns. The book also draws on an alternative set of American thinkers to explore the blind spots in the pragmatic temper."--William Connolly, New York Times Book Review "An extraordinarily ambitious work of both analysis and synthesis. . . . Diggins's book is rewarding in its thoughtfulness and its nuanced presentation of ideas."--Daniel J. Silver, Commentary "Diggins's superbly informed book comprises a comprehensive history of American pragmatic thought. . . . It contains expert descriptions of James, John Dewey and Charles Sanders Peirce, the first generation of American pragmatists. . . . Diggins is just as good on the revival of pragmatism that's taken place over the last 20 years in America. . . . [A] richly intelligent book."--Mark Edmundson, Washington Post Book World
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Book details

List price: $44.00
Copyright year: 1994
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 5/2/1994
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 528
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.892
Language: English

John Patrick Diggins: April 1, 1935 - January 28, 2009 John Patrick Diggins was born in San Francisco on April 1, 1935. He was a professor of history at the City University of New York Graduate Center, the author of more than a dozen books on widely varied subjects in American intellectual history. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1957, a master's degree at San Francisco State College, and a doctorate at the University of Southern California in 1964. Before accepting a job at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 1990, he taught intellectual history at San Francisco State College and the University of California, Irvine. Diggins wrote numerous books during his lifetime including Mussolini and Fascism (1972), On Hallowed Ground (2000), Eugene O'Neill's America: Desire under Democracy (2007), and Ronald Reagan: Fate, Freedom and the Making of History (2007). He died due to complications of colon cancer on January 28, 2009 at the age of 73.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Disenchantment of the World
The Flowering of Intellect and the Decline of Knowledge Politics and Ethics
The Cunning of Irony Science: Experimentation, Rationalization, or Acceleration?
The "Thirst for the Deed," the Bolshevik Revolution, and "Romantic" Pragmatism History: Evolution or Alienation?
Who Bore the Failure of the Light: Henry Adams
The Hand of the Father
The Failure of Classical Ideals History and the Problem of Consciousness
Science and the Fate of the Universe Four Problems of Modernism: Authority, Faith, Art, Love
The Pragmatic Affirmation: William James and the Will to Believe James and Adams's "Serial Law Fallacy"
The "Murdered Self" and the Riddle of Consciousness Beyond Rationalism and Empiricism
The Right to Choose One's Own Beliefs "Towards Action and Towards Power"
Truth as Pleasure, Knowledge as the Disposition to Believe Pragmatism and Its Paradoxes
Doubt and Deliverance: Charles Sanders Peirce and the Authority of Science "Proud Man/His Glassy Essence"
"Thought Is More Without Us Than Within"
Peirce versus James Between Realism and Nominalism
Adams and Peirce Synechism, Tychism, and the Dialectic of Doubt and Belief
The Objectivity Question Truth as Consensus
"The Flickering Candles of Consciousness"
John Dewey and the Challenge of Uncertainty
"Imagination in Action"
Dewey in Love "An Inward Laceration"
The Tension between Religion and Science
The False Quest for Certainty Alienation and the Origins of Mind
The Authority of Scientific Inquiry and the Problem of "Truth" Empirical Method and Moral Knowledge
Focusing on the Foreground: Dewey and the Problem of Historical Knowledge World War I and the Dewey-Bourne Debate
The Appeal to the Future
The Trotsky Inquiry and the Debate over Means and Ends World War II and the Double Irony of Philosophy and History
Pragmatism and the Problem of Power
The Challenge of Fascism
The Obscure Object of Power: Reinhold Niebuhr and Original Sin Dewey and the Classical Tradition
The Great Community: Politics as Contro The Child and the Curriculum: Education as Freedom
"The Acids of Modernity": Walter Lippmann and Oliver Wendell Holmes
The Odyssey of a Political Moralist Science and the Legitimacy of Government From Pragmatism and "The Phantom Public" to Natural Law
The Battle for America's Political Mind: Lippmann versus Dewey Holmes's Quarrel with the Pragmatists Legal Realism and Poststructuralism
Self and Society
The Socialization of Authority and the Fate of the Individual
Mead Classical and Christian Morality and the Disappearance of the Self
The Opposing Self: Lionel Trilling
The Decline and Revival of American Pragmatism
"The Corruption of Liberalism"
"The New Failure of Nerve": Sydney Hook's Response to Mortimer
Communism and the Vietnam War Epistemology Is Dead, Long Live Pragmatism: Richard Rorty's Quarrel with Philosophy as Theory
In Defense of the Enlightenment: Jurgen Habermas and the Promise of "Communicative Action"
The Case of the Progressive Historians
Conclusion: Poststructuralism and America's Intellectual Traditions
Philosophy as "Prophylactic": The Lost Legacy of the American
Founders Niebuhr and the Illusions of Poststructuralism
The Limits of Communication: Habermas Rorty's Political Thought and the Deweyan Legacy Against
Theory and the Limits of Redescription: Thorstein Veblen Emerson, Silence, and the Limits of Persuasion
The Return to History and the Temptation of "Agreeable Tales"
Index