Who’s afraid of pragmatism? 
in The power of pragmatism
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This postscript locates the essays collected in The power of pragmatism within the context of ongoing debates about what is distinctive about pragmatism as a living and contested philosophical tradition. It is argued that what is most distinctive about pragmatism is best revealed by attending to some family resemblances with other pragmatically oriented strands of social thought. The case for further developing a small-p pragmatist ethos in social inquiry is made in relation to core commitments: a focus on knowledge as emergent in relation to shared problems, and therefore a thoroughly social phenomenon, one in which issues of giving and receiving reasons is central to determining ‘what is good in the way of belief’. It is suggested that the future development of this ethos requires further attention to the agonistic dimensions of practically oriented styles of reasoning.

The power of pragmatism

Knowledge production and social inquiry

Editors: Jane Wills and Robert W. Lake


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