Native Pragmatism: Rethinking the Roots of American Philosophy

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Pragmatism is America's most distinctive philosophy. In the received history, it has been understood as a development of European thought in response to the "American wilderness." A closer examination, however, reveals that the roots and central commitments of pragmatism are grounded in ways of thinking indigenous to North America. It is the purpose of Native Pragmatism to recover this history and in so doing provide the means to re-conceive the scope and potential of American philosophy. Pragmatism has been at best only partially understood by those who focus on its European antecedents. The recovery of the history of pragmatism developed here throws new light on its complex origins and demands a rethinking not only of pragmatism but also of the sources and roles of African American and feminist thought in the development of the American philosophical tradition. Pratt demonstrates that pragmatism and its development involved the work of a wide range of thinkers who have been overlooked in the history of philosophy.In Native Pragmatism, Scott L. Pratt explores the connections between American pragmatism and Native American thought. He argues that philosophical ideas and attitudes prevalent among Native Americans constituted an essential element in the development of pragmatism. His suggestion is original, his argument compelling. Certain to be controversial, the book is likely remain at the centre of debate for some time. The significance of Pratt's thesis reaches far beyond philosophy and American history. Ultimately, he engages questions of pluralism and cultural difference.

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關於作者 (2002)

Scott L. Pratt is Associate Professor of Philosophy and head of the Philosophy Department at the University of Oregon. He received his B. A. in philosophy from Beloit College (Wisconsin) and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He teaches American Philosophy and the history of Modern European Philosophy, and is co-editor of American Philosophies: An Anthology and The Philosophical Writings of Cadwallader Colden.

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