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A Metaphysics of Psychopathology$
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Peter Zachar

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027045

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027045.001.0001

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A Scientifically Inspired Pragmatism

A Scientifically Inspired Pragmatism

Chapter:
2 (p.22) (p.23) A Scientifically Inspired Pragmatism
Source:
A Metaphysics of Psychopathology
Author(s):

Peter Zachar

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262027045.003.0002

Scientifically-inspired pragmatism is best contrasted with the postmodernist-inspired pragmatism of Richard Rorty. It harkens back to the founders of pragmatism, the first generation of scholars who could experience the theory of evolution as part of their intellectual inheritance. Jamesian pragmatism in particular was inspired by a reading of Darwin that was ahead of its time by not rejecting the primacy of natural selection, and thus remains relevant in our time. Scientifically-inspired pragmatism represents the tough-minded aspects of William James’ thought, which he termed radical empiricism. Radical empiricism is the view that we do not need to look beyond or transcend experience in order to legitimately use “metaphysical” distinctions such as subject versus object or appearance versus reality. In retrospect, it has become apparent that radical empiricism foreshadowed some of the ways that the empiricist tradition would evolve in the 20th century.

Keywords:   Pragmatism, Richard Rorty, William James, Charles Darwin, radical empiricism, metaphysics, experience

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