Pragmatism has been called America's only major contribution to philosophy. But since its birth was announced a century ago in 1898 by William James, pragmatism has played a vital role in almost every area of American intellectual and cultural life, inspiring judges, educators, politicians, poets, and social prophets.
Now the major texts of American pragmatism, from William James and John Dewey to Richard Rorty and Cornel West, have been brought together and reprinted unabridged. From the first generation of pragmatists, including the Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and the founder of semiotics, Charles Sanders Peirce, to the leading figures in the contemporary pragmatist revival, including the philosopher Hilary Putnam, the jurist Richard Posner, and the literary critic Richard Poirier, all the contributors to this volume are remarkable for the wit and vigor of their prose and the mind-clearing force of their ideas. Edited and with an Introduction by Louis Menand, Pragmatism: A Reader will provide both the general reader and the student of American culture with excitement and pleasure.
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Louis Menand is Professor of English at Harvard. His book The Metaphysical Club (2001) won the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Francis Parkman Prize, and the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction. He is also the author of American Studies (2002) and Discovering Modernism: T.S. Eliot and His Context 91987; new edition 2004) and the editor of The Future of Academic Freedom (1996). He was contributing editor of The New York Review of Books from 1994 to 2001. Since 2001, he has been a staff writer at The New Yorker.
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