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date: 25 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Sixty-five years after John Dewey’s last publication, there is an enormous literature interpreting, criticizing, and developing his pragmatism. Some working this vein are called “pragmatists,” while others are variously named “neopragmatists,” “new pragmatists,” and “linguistic pragmatists.” In general, the latter groups (a) focus more upon language, truth, and logic; (b) minimize or eschew talk of “experience”; (c) incline more toward professional, intraphilosophy dialogue rather than practical, extra-philosophy dialogue. Whither Dewey? What are the newer pragmatisms’ impacts on his reception and interpretation? What opportunities or obstacles are presented? Which among Dewey’s original insights still shine with signal importance? This chapter first considers the two most important neopragmatists, Richard Rorty and Robert Brandom, giving the largest space to Brandom. It concludes with Dewey, arguing that his melioristic, experiential starting point remains central and, indeed, indispensable to any pragmatism wishing to connect with everyday ethical, social, and political realities.

Keywords: Dewey, Rorty, Brandom, pragmatism, neopragmatism, linguistic pragmatism, inferentialism, experience, meliorism

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