English CRI 200B - Spring, 2018

    Topic: Pragmatism

Class Information

Instructor: Stratton, Matthew
Time: T 12:10-3:00
Location: 248 Voorhies


    In 1907, William James articulated the central tenet shared by a diverse set of revolutionary figures in the history of thought: “our beliefs are really rules for action.” This course will explore both the origins and the legacy of this claim: from the foundational texts written by Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, Jane Addams, and John Dewey to the various 21st-century philosophers, literary critics, intellectual historians, and political theorists who have drawn upon, responded to, and repudiated those texts. The central goal of the class will be a comprehensive survey of what we talk about when we talk about “Pragmatism,” and will necessarily include sustained attention to questions of aesthetics, feminist philosophy, race, political theory, and literary criticism. The final reading list and agenda will depend on the specific interests and goals of seminar participants.


    Democracy and Social Ethics (1902), Jane Addams
    The Public and Its Problems (1927), John Dewey
    Art as Experience (1935), John Dewey
    Pragmatism and The Meaning of Truth (1907–1910), William James
    In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America (2007), Eddie S. Glaude
    The Meaning of Marx (1935), Sidney Hook
    Pragmatism, Nation, and Race: Community in the Age of Empire (2009), Chad Kautzer and Eduardo Medieta, eds
    Toppling the Melting Pot: Immigration and Multiculturalism in American Pragmatism (2016), José-Antonio Orosco
    Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989), Richard Rorty
    Pragmatism and Feminism: Reweaving the Social Fabric (1996), Charlene Haddock Seigfried
    Feminist Interpretations of Williams James (2015), Erin Tarver and Shannon Sullivan, eds
    The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism (1989), Cornel West
    "The Fixation of Belief" et al., C.S. Peirce