Issue 43

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Issue 43: October/November 2003


Let’s Be Pragmatic!

by Rick Lewis


News: October/November 2003

World Philosophy Day • Monkeys Sense Injustice • Donald Davidson Dies • UK Govt. Gets Religion • Theology Students Get Nothing — News reports by Sue Roberts in London and Lisa Sangoi in New York


An Introduction to Classic American Pragmatism

Raymond Pfeiffer, who edited this issue, takes a look at the scope of the Pragmatic tradition.

Art & Science Reconciled

Nikolaos Gkogkas on the aesthetics of Nelson Goodman.

Charles Sanders Peirce: The Architect of Pragmatism

Cornelis de Waal on the man and his ideas.

Dewey and the Democratic Way of Life

Kevin S. Decker on John Dewey’s unique political contribution.

Peirce and Sartre on Consciousness and the Ego

David Boersema describes how two very different thinkers were on the trail of similar ideas about the nature of consciousness.

Richard Rorty’s Pragmatic Patriotism

Carol Nicholson on the need for a different kind of national pride.


Heavenly Thoughts

John Donnelly explores a whole tangle of difficulties with the concept of heaven.

Irrefutable Ethics

Richard Taylor on the intractable beliefs people hold about how we should behave.

The 21st World Congress of Philosophy

Every five years, philosophers from around the globe gather to drink coffee and swap ideas. Philosophy Now’s Anja Steinbauer and Rick Lewis were there.

The British Philosophical Association

David Evans on the creation of a new society for Britain’s nine-to-five thinkers.


Donald Davidson (1917-2003)

by Anna Sherratt


Richard Rorty

Richard Rorty is perhaps the best-known living philosopher in the Pragmatic tradition, and one of the most talked-about thinkers of the present day. He is a philosophy professor at Stanford University. Giancarlo Marchetti chatted with him about his ideas and his hopes.



The Truth About Richard Rorty • Time This was Published! • Nifty Arguments • Learning and Evaluating • Minds and Memories • Shock Value • Science as Religion? • Unacceptable Theory • Spooky Stuff? • Pipe Dreams • Drugs & Cheating


Dear Socrates

Having returned from the turn of the Fourth Century B.C. to the turn of the Twenty-First A.D., Socrates has eagerly signed on as a Philosophy Now columnist so that he may continue to carry out his divinely-inspired dialogic mission.

We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident

by Joel Marks


Descartes’s Method of Doubt by Janet Broughton

Harry Bracken frets about Janet Broughton’s non-historical book on Descartes’ ideas.

The Routledge Companion to Postmodernism

Les Reid on a companion to Postmodernism which, rather unpostmodernly, gives a clear account of the historical facts of its subject matter.

The Dancer Upstairs

John Malkovich has made a clever movie about the hunt for a fat, cardigan-wearing philosophy professor with blood on his hands. Rich Guilfoyle watches The Dancer Upstairs.


Affairs of Heart & Affairs of State

Philosophers have a problem with truth; but what about truth-telling? Peter Cave publishes some correspondence, recently re-discovered, concerning a long-forgotten political scandal. For the sake of brevity, incidental material in the letters has been excluded. Now, how do you tell people that you are telling them the truth?

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