Pragmatism

Here is a reading on pragmatism and its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. I don’t imagine there will be a lot of demand for these documents; I wrote them for one student about 15 years ago. Preparing them for this post was the first time I’ve looked at them since then.

It’s probably worth mentioning that pragmatism is form of philosophy born in the United States. Its parents, Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), William James (1842-1910), and John Dewey (1859-1952), are given first-class treatment in Louis Menand’s book on them and their philosophy, The Metaphysical Club (2001).

Aside: last summer, I spent some time interviewing for jobs in Albany, New York and environs, known as the Capital District or the Capital Region; I saw signs directing me to the village of Menands, seven miles north of Albany. As someone interested in place names and their origins, I assumed that the town was named for Louis Menand’s family. As it turns out, Louis Menand’s great-grandfather, also named Louis Menand, and himself an important 19th-century horticulturist, first arrived in the Village in 1842. So yes, once again, an old American family’s name becomes a place name, as so many have–think of the Astors: If you happen to live in New York City, their name is all over the place.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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