Pragmatism, Objectivity, and Experience

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 24, 2019 - History - 270 pages
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In this book Steven Levine explores the relation between objectivity and experience from a pragmatic point of view. Like many new pragmatists he aims to rehabilitate objectivity in the wake of Richard Rorty's rejection of the concept. But he challenges the idea, put forward by pragmatists like Robert Brandom, that objectivity is best rehabilitated in communicative-theoretic terms - namely, in terms that can be cashed out by capacities that agents gain through linguistic communication. Levine proposes instead that objectivity is best understood in experiential-theoretic terms. He explains how, in order to meet the aims of the new pragmatists, we need to do more than see objectivity as a norm of rationality embedded in our social-linguistic practices; we also need to see it as emergent from our experiential interaction with the world. Innovative and carefully argued, this book redeems and re-actualizes for contemporary philosophy a key insight developed by the classical pragmatists.

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Rorty and the Rejection of Objectivity
Brandom Pragmatism and Experience
Communication Perception and Objectivity
An Experiential Account of Objectivity
Pragmatism Experience and Answerability
Meaning Habit and the Myth of the Given

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About the author (2019)

Steven Levine is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He has published many articles on classical and contemporary pragmatism, as well as on figures including Sellars, Brandom, McDowell, and Davidson.

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