By John J. Stuhr
William James claimed that his Pragmatism: a brand new identify for a few outdated methods of considering may end up positive and epoch-making. at the present time, after greater than a hundred years, how is pragmatism to be understood? What has been its cultural and philosophical influence? Is it a vital source for present difficulties and for all times and idea sooner or later? John J. Stuhr and the celebrated members to this multidisciplinary quantity tackle 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 subject matters: pragmatism and American tradition; pragmatism as a style of pondering and settling disagreements; pragmatism as conception of fact; and pragmatism as a temper, perspective, or temperament.
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So varied were the uses to which techniques of business management were put that generalizing is impossible. S. corporations. S. ” Nohria skewers managers’ tendency to rely uncritically on “ready-made answers instead of searching for creative solutions”; he offers James’s pragmatism as the antidote to this serious condition. 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.
In one of the most widely read books of recent years on this subject, Our Underachieving Colleges, former and current Harvard president Derek Bok makes available to his readers the evidence about what appears to work best: small, discussion-oriented classes that engage students with 30 • James T. 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.
See Ralph Barton Perry, The Thought and Character of William James, vol. 2, Philosophy and Psychology (Boston: Little, Brown, 1935), pp. 310–17. 9. See “Robert Gould Shaw: Oration,” in ERM, 64–74. This brilliant address, which deserves to be better known, makes clear why it is a mistake to argue that James’s pragmatism provides no grounds for making sacrifices or gives no criteria for making political decisions. 10. Walter Lippmann to Graham Wallas, July 31 and October 30, 1912, Walter Lippmann Papers, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University; Lippmann, A Preface to Politics (1913; rpt.
100 Years of Pragmatism: William James's Revolutionary Philosophy by John J. Stuhr