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Robert Talisse's Top Book Recommendations

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Cheryl Misak argues that truth ought to be reinstated to a central position in moral and political philosophy. She argues that the correct account of truth is one found in a certain kind of pragmatism: a true belief is one upon which inquiry could not improve, a belief which would not be defeated by experience and argument. This account is not only an improvement on the views of central figures such as Rawls and Habermas, but it can also make sense of the idea that, despite conflict, pluralism, and the expression of difference, our moral and political beliefs aim at truth and can be subject... more
Recommended by Robert Talisse, and 1 others.

Robert TalisseOne of the features in the development of pragmatism is that pragmatists are constantly faced with the challenge of taking science seriously, but not losing sight of evaluative questions, moral questions, social and political questions. We saw that driving James’s pragmatism was the need to reconcile science and values in a very broad sense. We saw that Dewey thinks that the values, in effect,... (Source)

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These nine essays are largely concerned with the theory of meaning and references—semantics. At the same time adjacent portions of philosophy and logic are discussed. To the existence of what objects may a given scientific theory be said to be committed? And what considerations may suitably guide us in accepting or revising such ontological commitments? These are among the questions dealt with in this book, particular attention being devoted to the role of abstract entities in mathematics. There is speculation on the mechanism whereby objects of one sort or another come to be posited a... more
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Robert TalisseAlthough Quine doesn’t often describe himself as a pragmatist, he is, in my view, a fully-fledged pragmatist and any attempt to call him a pragmatist in a deeply qualified sense is a mistake. The standard, popular story about the development and founding of pragmatism that gets told is that Dewey dies in 1952, and pragmatism comes to an end a little bit before his death. Pragmatism is America’s... (Source)

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"A modern classic. Dewey's lectures have lost none of their vigor … The historical approach, which underlay the central argument, is beautifully exemplified in his treatments of the origin of philosophy." — Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
"It was with this book that Dewey fully launched his campaign for experimental philosophy." — The New Republic.
Written shortly after the shattering effects of World War I, John Dewey's Reconstruction in Philosophy offers an insightful introduction to the concept of pragmatic humanism. The eminent philosopher presents...
Recommended by Robert Talisse, and 1 others.

Robert TalisseIn Dewey we get what we might think of as a philosophical system of pragmatism. He is the first one who is a fulltime philosopher. He cites philosophy, he gets his PhD in philosophy, he spends his career in philosophy departments. He’s the most systematic of the three we’ve discussed so far. Peirce has a broad-reaching philosophical mind and made several attempts to put together a philosophical... (Source)

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Introduction, Bibliography and Textual Note

Lecture I: The Present Dilemma in Philosophy

Lecture II: What Pragmatism Means

Lecture III: Some Metaphysical Problems Pragmatically Considered

Lecture IV: The One and the Many

Lecture V: Pragmatism and Common Sense

Lecture VI: Pragmatism's Conception of Truth

Lecture VII: Pragmatism and Humanism

Lecture VIII: Pragmatism and Religion
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Robert TalisseInterestingly, both James and Peirce were trained scientists. Peirce was a chemist and James studied anatomy and to be a physician. James is the one who popularizes the term ‘pragmatism’, and credits Peirce with having coined it. Jamesian pragmatism is, on the one hand, a theory of meaning — the pragmatic maxim that he picks up from Peirce — and, on the other hand, a theory of truth. He’s picking... (Source)

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Philosophical Writings of Peirce

"An excellent, discerning introduction. It should prove a real boon to the student of Peirce." — The Modern Schoolman
Charles S. Peirce was a thinker of great originality and power. Although unpublished in his lifetime, he was recognized as an equal by such men as William James and John Dewey and, since his death in 1914, has come to the forefront of American philosophy. This volume, prepared by the Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, formerly chairman of Columbia's philosophy department, is a carefully balanced exposition of Peirce's complete philosophical...
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Robert TalissePeirce is cited and recognized as the founder of pragmatism. He’s the one who coins the term and spends his career, in a way, trying to give a proof of pragmatism. But he’s also a tragic and very intriguing figure as a man. He never secured a regular academic position. He was, by many estimations, America’s brightest mind. He writes about an impressive array of topics and you don’t have to look... (Source)

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