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The Rebirth of Pragmatism

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This class looks at American pragmatism from its inception in James and Dewey to its more recent revival and reconfiguration in Rorty and Cavell. By looking at writings on art, literature, ethics, philosophy and politics, we attempt to identify what constitutes pragmatist thought and discuss its anti-essentialist, anti-foundationalist and anti-dualist underpinnings. Throughout the course we will also attempt to make connections to continental thinkers like Nietzsche and Deleuze, as well as discuss the issue raised by Stanley Fish in his essay "Truth and Toilets" about the potential impact of pragmatism on everyday life.


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yes! yes! Thanks to everyone for a great and fun class.

sarahkessler's picture

also, for those still interested in spivak (in the wake of reading her for the first time), i'll be offering a class on her newest book, "nationalism and the imagination," at some point in the (hopefully near) future:

sarahkessler's picture

hi guys,

just wanted to say that i thought tonight's class was fantastic; i learned so much from all of you. thanks for coming! and we should totally follow this up with multiple offerings, including "theory/practice." the slash must be honored.


TPS's picture

Tonight's class is going to be postponed to next Sunday at 7pm. There will also be one extra reading posted this week. Stay tuned...

Hey sorry this is late. I posted rorty's essay on art and theory which i think could be interesting to discuss. You can get it on aaaarg.

I'm still searching for a good critical text other than the spivak, I'll try to get something up asap. Though between this essay and the spivak we will have plenty to discuss.


sarahkessler's picture

Ok, Spivak's "More on Power/Knowledge" is finally up. This essay is the second in her "Outside in the Teaching Machine," which was initially published in 1993 and was reprinted (again by Routledge) this year. Get it here:

I hope you all enjoy! And Chandler and I will be posting one or two additional texts tomorrow.

Many thanks,


sarahkessler's picture

Thanks for a wonderful class last night, everyone! If only all classes were small enough to be held on the astro turf...

I'll soon be posting Spivak's "More on Power/Knowledge" to aaaarg so that you all can get started on this week's readings. I believe Chandler will be posting the other reading we've chosen, and we may follow these two up with a third yet TBD.

If you didn't make it last night but would like to come to our final session, please feel free to join us! We're nonlinear, so you won't feel like you've missed the middle...



Hello again. The third and final reading for next weeks class is posted. You can get it here: Solidarity or Objectivity?.

Also if folks missed the first class and are interested feel free to join us next sunday to discuss these three texts by Richard Rorty.

Hello. Two of the reads for the next session are up on aaaarg. They are: Truth Without Correspondence to Reality and Ethics Without Principles from Rorty. We're going to try to find a more details "use" of pragmatism and add a reading around that as well.

Are the readings for 7/26 available?



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