The topic of history was not a principal theme of the classical American Pragmatists, but in this book Marnie Binder presents the case for a pragmatist philosophy of history, examining supporting material from William James, John Dewey, F.C.S. Schiller, C.S. Peirce, George Herbert Mead, and Jane Addams. While the thinkers explored here have significant differences among themselves, together they provide distinct contributions to a fuller picture of what guides our selective memory and our present attention, and they indicate how this is all maintained via confirmation in the future. Philosophy needs history to help clarify meanings and concepts; part of the methodology of pragmatism is derived from history, as it is attested over time. History needs philosophy to critically analyze historical data; pragmatic interests influence how we study and record history. A Pragmatist Philosophy of History, therefore, provides a rich context for a method that brings the two disciplines together.
Marnie Binder is lecturer in philosophy at California State University, Sacramento. She also teaches philosophy and humanities at Cosumnes River College and Golden Gate University.
Chapter One: William James on Pragmatic Experience
Chapter Two: John Dewey on Pragmatic Education
Chapter Three: Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller on Pragmatic Revaluation
Chapter Four: Charles Sanders Peirce on Pragmatic Inquiry
Chapter Five: George Herbert Mead on Pragmatic Communication
Chapter Six: Jane Addams on Pragmatic Ethics
A Pragmatist Philosophy of History explores the ways in which a reckoning with history has always been central to the pragmatist tradition. By tracing the development of this theme in the work of figures both expected (such as Dewey) and unexpected (such as Addams), Marnie Binder offers a valuable new perspective on the work of the classical pragmatists.