Pragmatism and Social Theory
Rising concerns among scholars about the intellectual and cultural foundations of democracy have led to a revival of interest in the American philosophical tradition of pragmatism. In this book, Hans Joas shows how pragmatism can link divergent intellectual efforts to understand the social contexts of human knowledge, individual freedom, and democratic culture.
Along with pragmatism's impact on American sociology and social research from 1895 to the 1940s, Joas traces its reception by French and German traditions during this century. He explores the influences of pragmatism—often misunderstood—on Emile Durkheim's sociology of knowledge, and on German thought, with particularly enlightening references to its appropriation by Nazism and its rejection by neo-Marxism. He also explores new currents of social theory in the work of Habermas, Castoriadis, Giddens, and Alexander, fashioning a bridge between Continental thought, American philosophy, and contemporary sociology; he shows how the misapprehension and neglect of pragmatism has led to systematic deficiencies in contemporary social theory.
From this skillful historical and theoretical analysis, Joas creates a powerful case for the enduring legacy of Peirce, James, Dewey, and Mead for social theorists today.
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actors Alexander Alexander's analysis Anthony Giddens anthropology approach argument attempt autonomy behavior Castoriadis Chicago School classical cognition collective communicative action concept of action consciousness constitution creative Critical Theory critique cultural democracy Dewey's dimension domain Durkheim Emile Durkheim empirical essay ethics fact framework Frankfurt Frankfurt School functional functionalist George Herbert Mead German Giddens Giddens's Habermas's Heidegger ical ideal ideas important individual intellectual interaction interpretation intersubjective Jeffrey Alexander Joas John Dewey labor lifeworld logical Marx Marx's Marxism Mead's means metatheoretical moral normative object orientation Parsons Parsons's Peirce philosophy political possible prag pragmatism pragmatist praxis problems processes psychology question rational action regard relationship Richard Rorty role theory role-taking Rorty Scheler situation social order social sciences social theory society sociological theory sociologists solution symbolic interactionism theoretical theorists theory of action theory of social thought tion tism tive tradition truth utilitarian Weber
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