Pragmatism in the Americas

By Gregory Fernando Pappas | Go to book overview

FIFTEEN
UNDERSTANDING IMMIGRATION AS LIVED
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

Daniel Campos

The process of immigration is one of the most transformative phenomena in the Americas today. In its personal, social, political, and cultural dimensions, it affects the lives of individuals, communities, societies, and nations throughout the American continent.1 In this essay I attempt to give a philosophical account of the personal experience of immigration. I propose to examine the experience of South–North immigration in the Americas, with careful consideration of the reflections that some Anglo-and Latin American thinkers make possible for us regarding this issue. Charles S. Peirce’s philosophical account of the evolution of personality undergirds the conceptual structure of my exposition. Accordingly, I will describe the experience of immigrating as one in which individuals undergo deep transformations at the affective level of feeling, emotion, and sentiment (firstness), relations to people and places (secondness), and goals, aims, and objectives (thirdness as guiding telos) in their personal lives. Since I consider the view that one’s beliefs should be informed and evaluated by personal experience to be a hallmark of

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