Joan Richardson's A Natural History of Pragmatism PDF

By Joan Richardson

ISBN-10: 051126111X

ISBN-13: 9780511261114

ISBN-10: 0521694507

ISBN-13: 9780521694506

ISBN-10: 0521837480

ISBN-13: 9780521837484

Joan Richardson presents a desirable and compelling account of the emergence of the vital American philosophy: pragmatism. She demonstrates pragmatism's engagement with numerous branches of the average sciences and lines the improvement of Jamesian pragmatism from the overdue 19th century via modernism, following its pointings into the current. Richardson combines strands from America's non secular adventure with medical info to supply interpretations that holiday new flooring in literary and cultural historical past. This booklet exemplifies the price of interdisciplinary methods to generating literary feedback. In a chain of hugely unique readings of Edwards, Emerson, William and Henry James, Stevens, and Stein, A average heritage of Pragmatism tracks the interaction of non secular reason, medical hypothesis, and literature in shaping an American aesthetic. Wide-ranging and ambitious, this groundbreaking e-book may be crucial studying for all scholars and students of yankee literature.

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Extra info for A Natural History of Pragmatism

Example text

One no longer thinks about the language, but in it, the light of one’s thinking contained in, though varied, slanted by and through it, a prism permitting, as well, the analysis of what constitutes that light, an analysis which would not have been available without the experimentation with the second language. Such, somewhat, was the effect of typological tuition. In the case of Edwards, the immersion in texts most significantly extended from the Book of God, the Bible, to the Book of Nature, the latter through his own native interests and through the books he read which opened into his room of the idea.

52 It is important to bear in mind, while considering Emerson’s selfimposed charge to provide in his work a “natural history of the intellect,” his ministerial inheritance, his preparation to make the invisible visible. This inheritance, combined with his variously expressed commitment not to be bound by inherited ideas, permitted him the freedom of voice necessary to announce his vision. Following Emerson, William James offers the next “frontier instance” in the evolution of Pragmatism. It is, of course, impossible to discuss James and Pragmatism without taking into account the work of Peirce, and, indeed, Peirce’s contributions inform the chapter on James.

Particularly taken by the challenges to perception that the work of Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, and other quantum theorists presented, Stevens explored the possibility of describing this invisible universe in sentential relationships. Woven into the texture of his poems are experiments mimicking an uncertain universe in uncertainties of predication and meaning. Within the seemingly stable grammatical structures, semantic equivocations, not apparent at first, create storms of decision: either a sentence is read attending to its structure or attending to structure is suspended to allow semantic resonance and ambiguity.

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A Natural History of Pragmatism by Joan Richardson

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