University of Oregon

On the American Pragmatists (4 of 5)

The American Pragmatists: C.S. Peirce, William James, John Dewey

In this program, Columbia University professor Sidney Morgenbesser discusses the nuances of pragmatic philosophy as expressed by three of America's greatest thinkers. Moranbesser examines Peirce's theory of meaning and the notion of fallibilism that supports the changing nature of truth. James' concept of meaning, knowledge, and truth is examined within the context of the usefulness of particular conceptual schemes. The discussion of Dewey focuses on the human quest for warranted beliefs, and his philosophy of education—a "bottom up" approach that bases instruction on a child's real problems and experiences.

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