By John J. Stuhr
William James claimed that his Pragmatism: a brand new identify for a few outdated methods of considering may turn out successful and epoch-making. this day, after greater than a hundred years, how is pragmatism to be understood? What has been its cultural and philosophical influence? Is it a very important source for present difficulties and for all times and notion sooner or later? John J. Stuhr and the celebrated individuals to this multidisciplinary quantity handle those questions, situating them in own, philosophical, political, American, and worldwide contexts. attractive James in unique methods, those eleven essays probe and expand the importance of pragmatism as they specialise in 4 significant, overlapping issues: pragmatism and American tradition; pragmatism as a style of pondering and settling disagreements; pragmatism as thought of fact; and pragmatism as a temper, perspective, or temperament.
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Extra resources for 100 Years of Pragmatism: William James's Revolutionary Philosophy
Parrish (1937) and Brown v. Board of Education (1954), and it plays such an important part in legal education at leading law schools today, that it is difficult to decide how to focus a brief discussion of its contemporary significance. Perhaps it is sufficient to note that across the spectrum of opinion within the law, from figures such as Duncan Kennedy in critical legal studies and Margaret Jane Radin in feminist jurisprudence on the left to Cass Sunstein and Akhil Amar in the center and Richard Posner on the right, many of the most prominent and influential participants in legal discourse emphasize the shaping role of pragmatism in American law throughout the twentieth century.
44 In the last three years of deliberations at Harvard concerning reforms of undergraduate education, Bok’s ideas and those of many others received the careful consideration of the faculty-student committees investigating different dimensions of the student experience. Nothing in Bok’s book, and little in the reforms still being debated by the Harvard faculty, would have surprised William James. The principal changes are likely to include emphasis on the following: (1) balancing exposure to a wide range of disciplines with deeper learning in a particular field, the size and shape of that more focused study to be determined by faculty within departments rather than according to a single model; (2) education that occurs outside as well as inside the classroom, from off-campus service experiences and/or from intensive foreign study; (3) the active engagement of each student in shaping a program suited to his or her own goals; (4) bringing students and senior faculty together in small-group courses, beginning with freshman seminars and culminating in capstone courses of various kinds; and (5) the need to review all of these programs within five years both to reconsider our goals and to assess how our programs are working.
Managers of American companies, according to Nohria, frequently fall for three faulty strategies. First, they tinker with familiar “off-the-shelf” approaches that have already proven to be failures. Second, managers adopt the latest fad, the “flavor of the month” that promises immediate results although it has never been tested. Finally, other companies decide to try all available options at once, an eclectic approach almost guaranteed to end in chaos rather than coherent management. ” He quotes James’s observation that “[t]heories are instruments, not answers to enigmas in which we can rest,” and he urges managers to adopt that “pragmatic attitude” toward the 24 • James T.
100 Years of Pragmatism: William James's Revolutionary Philosophy by John J. Stuhr