Pragmatic Naturalism: An Introduction

Pragmatic Naturalism: An Introduction

Pragmatic Naturalism: An Introduction

Pragmatic Naturalism: An Introduction


It is said that America came of age intellectually with the appearance of the pragmatic movement in philosophy. Pragmatic Naturalism presents a selective and interpretative overview of this philosophy as developed in the writings of its intellectual founders and chief exponents-Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, George Herbert Mead, and John Dewey. Mr. Eames groups the leading ideas of these pragmatic naturalists around the general fields of "Nature and Human Life," "Knowledge," "Value," and "Education," treating the primary concerns and special emphasis of each philosopher to these issues.


Philosophy students, teachers of philosophy, and general readers will find this book a comprehensive overview of American philosophy.


This work is intended to be a guide to the leading ideas of a movement in philosophy which has been called by the various names of "pragmatism," "instrumentalism," "experimentalism," "empirical naturalism." For reasons explained in the text I prefer to call the movement "pragmatic naturalism." This movement involves many thinkers, and I have not tried to include all the people who have made significant contributions to its development.I have limited the treatment to the four scholars who are generally regarded as the founders of the movement: Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, George Herbert Mead, and John Dewey.It is hoped that this introduction will stimulate the reader to become acquainted with the original writings of these men, and at the end of each division in the book there is a suggested order of readings of some of their most important works. The selection of the order of readings is directed by the order of topics of each section and by the experience of teaching students about this movement.

I wish to express appreciation to my former teachers at the University of Chicago, Charles Hartshorne and Charles Morris; seminars I had with these scholars afforded me the foundation upon which my later work proceeded.Various people read the manuscript at different stages of its writing and to them I am grateful for their criticisms and suggestions: Herbert W. Schneider, Lewis E. Hahn, Joe R. Burnett, Arthur W. Wirth, Charles A. Lee, Joseph S. Wu, John A. Broyer, Cho Yee To, Conrad J. Koehler, Ivan Lee Eames, Thomas M. Messer, Bruce and Marlene Jannusch, Romona Ford . . .

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