- Course Description
- Schedule of Readings
- Course Requirements
- Course Prerequisites
- Handouts & Links
We will take an in-depth look at pragmatist theories of meaning, truth, and knowledge in both "classical" and more recent pragmatists. We will read Peirce, James, and Dewey, from among the classical authors, as well as Sellars, Davidson, Putnam, and Rorty, from among more recent authors. Among the specific issues we shall consider are these:
- the classical pragmatist verificationist theory of meaning
- classical pragmatist verificationist theories of truth
- Dewey's conception of warranted assertibility
- Sellars's fusion of pragmatism and representationalism
- Davidson's argument against "the very idea of a conceptual scheme"
- the debate between Putnam and Rorty on truth, reason, and relativism
One 20 pp. research paper due by standard departmental end-of-term practices.
If you are a graduate student in the Philosophy Department: no special prerequisites are required.
If you're not enrolled in our graduate program: you must get my permission to enroll in the course (contact information HERE).
- Peirce, Essential Writings (Prometheus)
- James, Pragmatism and The Meaning of Truth (Harvard)
- Dewey, collection TBA
- Putnam, Reason, Truth, and History (Cambridge)
- Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Philosophical Papers, vol. 2 (Cambridge)
- Other readings are drawn from sources as indicated and will be placed on my shelf in the lounge
- Wikipedia article on the Mohs hardness scale, in re Peirce