Научная статья на тему 'MEASURING PRAGMATISM BY ITS CLASSICAL TENETS (the final part)'

MEASURING PRAGMATISM BY ITS CLASSICAL TENETS (the final part) Текст научной статьи по специальности «Философия, этика, религиоведение»

CC BY
37
7
Поделиться
Журнал
Философский журнал
Scopus
ВАК
RSCI
ESCI
Ключевые слова
American pragmatism / Charles Peirce / John Dewey / Augustine / binary reasoning / semiotics / Cartesianism / habit-change / американский прагматизм / Чарльз Пирс / Джон Дьюи / Августин / бинарное мышление / семиотика / картезианство / изменение привычек

Аннотация научной статьи по философии, этике, религиоведению, автор научной работы — Peter Ochs

John E. Smith argued that there were almost as many pragmatisms as pragmatists. Almost all pragmatists criticized abstractive and reductive reasoning in the modern academy, but most entertained different visions of how and to what end academic reasoning should be repaired. Smith’s vision was shaped by his strong preference for the classical pragmatisms of Peirce, Dewey, James and also Royce, whose differences contributed to the inner dynamism of Smith’s pragmatism. Smith was far less impressed with the virtues of neo-pragmatists who rejected key tenets of the classical vision. My goal in this brief essay is to outline a partial list of these tenets, drawing on Smith’s writings and those of a sample of recent pragmatists who share his commitment to the classical vision, such as Richard Bernstein, John Deely, and Doug Anderson. I restate the tenets in the terms of a pragmatic semiotic, which applies Peirce’s semeiotic to classical doctrines of habit-change and reparative inquiry. I conclude by adopting the tenets as signs of pragmatism’s elemental beliefs. Consistent with Peirce’s account of “original” beliefs, these are not discrete claims about the world or well-defined rational principles but a loose and dynamic network of habits. The habits grow, change, inter-mix or self-segregate through the run of intellectual and social history. They can be distinguished but only imprecisely, described but only vaguely, encountered per se only through their effects. Among these effects are sub-communities of pragmatic inquiry, sub-networks of habits, and existentially marked series of social actions and streams of written and spoken words: including context-specific, determinate claims about the world, about other claims, and about habits of inquiry like pragmatism. Among these claims are my way of stating the tenets and my arguments about the history of pragmatism. Such claims are determinate, but the habits and tenets of pragmatism are not.

iНе можете найти то, что вам нужно? Попробуйте сервис подбора литературы.

Классические основоположения как мера прагматизма

Джон Э. Смит утверждает, что прагматизмов можно насчитать едва ли не столько же, сколько самих философов-прагматистов. Почти все прагматисты единодушны в критике абстракционистского и редукционистского типа мышления, царящего в современных университетах, однако большинство из них придерживались совершенно несхожих воззрений на то, как и исходя из каких целей надлежит вносить исправления в сложившуюся в научной среде процедуру умозаключений. Собственные взгляды Смита испытали определяющее влияние классических версий прагматизма, созданных Пирсом, Дьюи, Джеймсом, а также Ройсом, при этом различия, присущие этим источникам, лишь способствовали внутреннему динамизму прагматизма Смита. Куда меньше Смит был впечатлен достижениями неопрагматистов, отвергнувших ключевые положения классической теории. Моя задача в этом небольшом очерке – составить примерный перечень этих положений, опираясь на труды Смита и некоторых из числа разделяющих его приверженность классическому взгляду на вещи современных прагматистов, таких как Ричард Бернстайн, Джон Дили и Даг Андерсон. Данные положения я переформулирую в терминах прагматической семиотики, прилагающей семиотику Пирса к классическим теориям изменения привычек и восстанавливающего умозаключения, что позволяет рассматривать таковые положения как знаки основополагающих представлений прагматизма. В полном согласии с тем, что говорит о подобных «исходных» представлениях Пирс, они не должны мыслиться как изолированные утверждения о мире или как четко определяемые рациональные принципы, но скорее как свободно организованная динамичная совокупность привычек. Привычки развиваются, меняются, перемешиваются между собой и отделяются одни от других на протяжении всего хода интеллектуальной и социальной истории. Мы способны только смутно угадывать их; любое описание их остается приблизительным; они проявляют себя лишь опосредованно, через последствия своего воздействия. К числу таких последствий относятся факты возникновения среди философов, ведущих прагматические исследования, «субсообществ»; наличия «субсетей» по привычкам; появления экзистенциально окрашенных циклов социального действия и потоков устного и письменного слова, включая контекстно обусловленные, конкретно определенные утверждения о мире, о других утверждениях и о привычках исследования, например, в прагматизме. Среди таких утверждений находит себе место и мой способ формулировки основоположений, равно как и мои доводы, касающиеся истории прагматизма. Этим утверждениям свойственна определенность, которой нет ни у привычек прагматизма, ни у его основоположений.

Текст научной работы на тему «MEASURING PRAGMATISM BY ITS CLASSICAL TENETS (the final part)»

Философский журнал

The Philosophy Journal 2019, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 5-16 DOI: 10.21146/2072-0726-2019-12-1-5-16

2019. Т. 12. № 1. С. 5-16 УДК 165.741

ИСТОРИЯ ФИЛОСОФИИ

Peter Ochs

MEASURING PRAGMATISM BY ITS CLASSICAL TENETS

(the final part)

Peter Ochs - Edgar M. Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies. University of Virginia. 1540 Jefferson Park Ave, Charlottesville, VA 22903; e-mail: pochs@virginia.edu

John E. Smith argued that there were almost as many pragmatisms as pragmatists. Almost all pragmatists criticized abstractive and reductive reasoning in the modern academy, but most entertained different visions of how and to what end academic reasoning should be repaired. Smith's vision was shaped by his strong preference for the classical pragmatisms of Peirce, Dewey, James and also Royce, whose differences contributed to the inner dynamism of Smith's pragmatism. Smith was far less impressed with the virtues of neo-pragmatists who rejected key tenets of the classical vision. My goal in this brief essay is to outline a partial list of these tenets, drawing on Smith's writings and those of a sample of recent pragmatists who share his commitment to the classical vision, such as Richard Bernstein, John Deely, and Doug Anderson. I restate the tenets in the terms of a pragmatic semiotic, which applies Peirce's semeiotic to classical doctrines of habit-change and reparative inquiry. I conclude by adopting the tenets as signs of pragmatism's elemental beliefs. Consistent with Peirce's account of "original" beliefs, these are not discrete claims about the world or well-defined rational principles but a loose and dynamic network of habits. The habits grow, change, inter-mix or self-segregate through the run of intellectual and social history. They can be distinguished but only imprecisely, described but only vaguely, encountered per se only through their effects. Among these effects are sub-communities of pragmatic inquiry, sub-networks of habits, and existentially marked series of social actions and streams of written and spoken words: including context-specific, determinate claims about the world, about other claims, and about habits of inquiry like pragmatism. Among these claims are my way of stating the tenets and my arguments about the history of pragmatism. Such claims are determinate, but the habits and tenets of pragmatism are not.

Keywords: American pragmatism, Charles Peirce, John Dewey, Augustine, binary reasoning, semiotics, Cartesianism, habit-change

For Peirce, habits function as interpretants of constative claims about the world. According to the pragmatic method, failed empirical claims are signs of failed habits of reasoning. Pragmatism offers instruction in how to identify and repair such habits. The interpretant of pragmatic repair - and thus the rule of pragmatism - is most clearly diagrammed in Peirce's triadic semeiotic (derived from Stoic logic by way of Augustine and later scholastic refinements). To change a

* SB SB

© Peter Ochs

habit is to identify and diagram it in the vocabulary of a triadic semeiotic (sign + object + interpretant), to isolate the interpretant, and then to suggest and test ways of repairing it. Cartesianism inherits the Augustinian-medieval tradition of reparative reasoning but misrepresents it by eliding its context-specific interpretants and, thereby, re-presenting it as objectivist reasoning. Pragmatism repairs Cartesianism by proposing ways of reconstructing the context-specific interpretants of Carte-sianism's over-generalized, constative claims.

Habit-change in the vocabulary of a pragmatic semiotics. I conclude by diagramming Peirce's account in a model of pragmatic semiotics that I have constructed out of Peirce's semiotic vocabulary1.

Formula 1: S^o|l [a Sign Vehicle refers to its Object with respect to conditions or rules of signification provided by its Interpretant.]

Formula 1.1: S= (Sic, Sin, Ssy) [The Sign Vehicle includes Icons, Indices, Symbols.]

Formula 1.1.1: Sic -1 Iic [An icon refers to a rheme, or possible

characterization of something. A rheme is always an Immediate Object (IO), which means the sense of some sign.]

Formula 1.1.2: Sin ^ •I Iin [An index refers to an existent, or something somewhere. An existent is always a Dynamical Object (DO), which means the referent of some sign.]

Formula 1.1.3: Ssy -• | Isy [A symbol refers to some rule of relation

(or "rule") according to which something somewhere could be characterized in some manner, that is, some rheme might be predicated of some object. A rule may be IO or DO.]

Formula 1.1.4: Ssy = (--1- • + | Isy). [A symbol may be atomized, in which

case any element of a symbol may also be read as a symbol, including icons and indices functioning now as symbols.]

Formula 1.1.5: Sm Om | Isy, where O =-• and where Om v~ Om.

[Symbols may be read monovalently when their interpretant assigns them only one possible meaning. Two types of formula are provided here, including one that atomizes the object into rheme + index; there are sub-cases for which the monovalence applies only to rheme or only to index].

Formula 1.1.6: Ssy £ O | Isy, where ~ (Oy v ~Oy) [Symbols may be read polyvalently when their Interpretant assigns them more than one possible meaning (reference to meaning is not strictly limited by the law of excluded middle).]

Formula 1.3.2: | Ij=£aRb 11 [The Interpretant as "language system" includes the sum of all rules of relation (aRb) available in that system.]

Formula 1.3.3: | Ic=Y, | Ic [The Interpretant as "community of interpreters" names the societal actors and relations with respect to which a sign vehicle is or would be referred to its possible objects. Here, the interpretant functions as a "communal interpretant," Ic.]

Formula 1.3.4: ^^Y^e [The Interpretant as "pragmatic condition" names conditions of error/disruption ("a problematic situation") with respect to which a sign vehicle refers both to some failed rules of relation in some system and to some reparative rules according to which the conditions of suffering/disruption could possibly be repaired. Such conditions are correctly "read" or identified by a pragmatic interpretant, Ip.] Say, for example, a communal interpretant is itself

These samples of my pragmatic semiotic diagrams are drawn from Ochs, P. "A Relational (non-binary) Semeiotic for Scriptural Reasoning", Scriptural Reasoning and Comparative Studies, Proceedings of the XXth Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association. Paris, 2013.

iНе можете найти то, что вам нужно? Попробуйте сервис подбора литературы.

problematic (it produces problematic interpretations). In this case, the problematic interpretant functions as a problematic symbol and is in need of a particular repair. To repair an interpretant is to direct a community to re-read it as determining some symbol to mean X whereas it previously meant Y (noting that X or Y could include forms of recommended behavior as well as objects of cognition). The formula for this repair is: (S1 — Oe | Ie) -[( | Ie)-£ S (s1 — Or | Ip)], where Oe = problematic interpretation; Ie = problematic interpretant; Or = repaired interpretation.

Explanation: Formulae 1 and 1.1 introduce my way of diagraming Peirce's elemental definitions of sign. Peirce's logic of judgements is a logic of relations, replacing the logic of substances or things that modern logicians tended to inherit from medieval Aristotelianism. The predicate, rather than the subject, becomes the defining element in any judgement: predicates serve as iconic signs of relations, including real relations in the world, and subjects refer indexically to the sets of occasions that may illustrate or embody a given relation or set of relations. Considered independently of its role in a judgement, a predicate appears in Peirce's semiotic as a rheme (see Formula 1.1.1). The subject of judgement functions as an indexical sign (see 1.1.2). As noted earlier, symbols are the primary subjects and vehicles of pragmatic inquiry (see 1.1.3): a symbol refers to some rule of relation according to which something could be characterized in some manner. In Formula 1.1.4, I diagram how the parts of a symbol may also be read as symbols. The distinction is important, because each part of a symbol will refer independently to a distinct part of the empirical process of habit change or repair. In Formulae 1.1.5-6, I diagram the difference between monovalent and polyvalent readings of a symbol. The distinction is important, because symbols will function, in part, as signs of habits, and a habit that had only one meaning would appear to be unchangeable. Habit change, and therefore repair, is possible only when habits can be characterized and embodied in more than one way; habit change will refer to a change from one set of characterizations (and embodiment) to another set. In Peirce's triadic semeiotic, a sign (S) refers to its object (O) in respect to some interpretant (I). As noted earlier, interpretant plays a key role in Peirce's critical repair of binary claims. The constative binary claim "A is B" is unproblematic when a claimant shares a set of unstated rules of meaning with the claimant's audience. Any lack of such preunderstanding will already render such a claim problematic. The claimant may assume, "A is B with respect to rule C"; but if the audience assumes the rule is Cx then the claim will be misunderstood. Such a rule is part of the Interpretant. To repair problematic binary claims, the pragmatist therefore seeks to clarify the claimant's undisclosed interpretant. To understand how pragmatism works, it is important to recognize different dimensions of the interpretant as rule of meaning. In Formula 1.3.2, I diagram the interpretant as language system, or the most general set of rules with respect to which signs have meaning. In 1.3.3, I diagram the interpretant as community of interpreters, or the finite set of speakers whose habits of language use will influence the meaning of a particular claim. In 1.3.4, I diagram the interpretant as pragmatic condition, or the singular conditions of error or dysfunction that both warrant and guide pragmatic inquiry. My goal is to diagram pragmatic inquiry as a semiotic process within which: (1) some claim stimulates misunderstanding or problematic interpretations; (2) pragmatists read the errant interpretations as signs of errant or problematic interpretants; (3) for the sake of repair, pragmatists introduce revised versions of the problematic interpretant (or its antecedents) so that, when successfully tested, the problematic interpretations may be repaired. According to this diagram, pragmatic repair is not, after all, the repair of a discrete claim (as if a claim were truth-functional by itself). Pragmatic repair is, instead, repair of a problematic interpretant of which some particular claim is only one of many possible symptoms.

Evaluating the History of Pragmatism in Light of Peirce's Doctrine of Habit Change

Is there any continuity in American pragmatism's progress from its early days to the present time? The following surveys illustrate negotiable differences within sub-units of the trans-historical community of pragmatic inquiry and less negotiable differences among such sub-units. By negotiable differences, I mean differences that stimulate members of a given community to engage in lively reasoned argument, but do not require schism within the community: they do not vitiate the overall contribution of the community to the academy. By less negotiable differences, I mean differences that tend to breed so many contradictory paths of reasoning that arguments among members of different sub-units weaken rather than strengthen each sub-unit's overall contribution to the academy. Before introducing the survey, I will preview my conclusion: (A) The classical pragmatism of Peirce, James, Dewey and their proponents includes some contradictory tendencies, but these tendencies remain negotiable, and their differences contribute to the dynamism and polyvalence of classical pragmatism; and (B) Other recent pragmatisms diverge sufficiently from the primary tenets of classical pragmatism that these two or more communities of pragmatism will make stronger contributions to the academy if they devote more energy to reasoned argument within sub-units and less energy to debates among the different units. In the first survey, I comment on the stronger contributions a sample of thinkers has made to the dynamic activity of classical pragmatism. I do not offer a comprehensive list and do not evaluate each thinker's overall contributions to the classical model or divergences from it. I select a sample of authors who would, collectively, illustrate classical pragmatism's central tenets: as if each author contributed a few tenets. I try to include some surprising names: authors who would not consider themselves pragmatists but who offer profound instruction in one or another tenet. In the second survey, I comment briefly on an illustrative set of two authors whose divergences from several classical texts may or may not engender productive engagements with classical pragmatism. My goal is not to resolve questions about these thinkers' classical or non-classical preferences, but to recommend and illustrate a method for measuring any pragmatic thinker's degree of distance from the classical tenets. My working hypothesis is that pragmatists bear urgent responsibilities that are better served by intensive engagements within negotiable sub-communities than by long term debates among such sub-communities. The hypothesis is informed by the classical pragmatist's resistance to interminable academic debate in favor of short term argument that serves pragmatism's imperative to repair dysfunction within the academy and in the social institutions served by the academy.

Types of Classical Pragmatism

William James: James diverges from Peirce in significant ways2, but he also makes profound contributions to some of the major tenets, of which I will illustrate two: the overall pragmatic critique of (1) western academic intellectualism and (2) social irresponsibility. Henry David Aiken said it very well:

There is voluminous scholarship on their differences. I consider the main differences to be James' individualism vs. Peirce's social logic and James' tendency to elide interpretants in his epistemology (as in the "Tigers in India"). For a colorful critique of James, see Houser, N. "Peirce's Post-Jamesian Pragmatism", European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy, 2001, Vol. III, No. 1 [https://journals.openedition.org/ejpap/866, accessed on 20.06.2018]. Note Houser's account of James' inferentialism.

Peirce did not doubt that his philosophy, whatever else it might be, was a moral philosophy whose aim is self control and emancipation from "the bonds of self, of one's own prepossessions." This is the common bond which ties Peirce together with all the other great pragmatists, including James and Dewey.... For James, in short, pragmatism was, among other things, a charter of freedom from the narrow intellectualism and "cognitivism" of the whole Western philosophical tradition from Plato forward3.

My favorite illustrations of James' pragmatic critique is from the Pragmatism lectures:

The more absolutistic philosophers dwell on so high a level of abstraction that they never even try to come down. The absolute mind which they offer us, the mind that makes our universe by thinking it, might. have made any one of a million other universes just as well as this. You can deduce no single actual particular from the notion of it4.

And, It is astonishing to see how many philosophical disputes collapse into insignificance the moment you subject them to this simple test of tracing a concrete consequence. There can be no difference anywhere that doesn't make a difference elsewhere5.

John Dewey: Dewey also diverges from Peirce in significant ways6, but he makes even more profound contributions to some of the major tenets, of which I will illustrate two: (1) he advances James' as well as Peirce's empirical and epis-temological studies of habits as central to a pragmatic critique of abstractive thinking in the West; (2) he advances pragmatism's social logic and social ethic far beyond what Peirce had occasion to explore; at the same time he advances pragmatism's account of how to bring societal responsibility into the concrete disciplines/ sciences of the academy. I shall draw on Doug Anderson's reading of Dewey and Peirce to provide these illustrations.

On the centrality of habit, Anderson cites Dewey's argument that "the generic propositions or universals of science can take effect, in a word, only through the medium of the habits and impulsive tendencies of the one who judges"7. Anderson notes that, "at this juncture in the text, [Dewey] inserts a footnote asserting the proximity of Peirce's ideas to his own:

So far as I know, Mr. Charles S. Peirce was the first to call attention to this principle, and to insist upon its fundamental logical import. Mr. Peirce states it as the principle of continuity: A past idea can operate only so far as it is physically continuous with that upon which it operates. A general idea is simply a living and expanding feeling, and habit is a statement of the specific mode of operation of a given psychical continuum. I have reached the above conclusion along such diverse lines that, without in any way minimizing the

Aiken, H. D. "American Pragmatism Reconsidered: I. Charles Sanders Peirce", Commen-

tary Magazine, 1962, August 1 [https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/american-pragmatism-reconsidered-i-charles-sanders-peirce/, accessed on 15.07.2018]. James, W. Pragmatism. Indianapolis, 1981, p. 13. Ibid., p. 27.

I consider his most significant divergence to be on the role of both indubitable beliefs and ultimate interpretants in the prosecution of pragmatic inquiry, as well as on the associated study of ontology and religion.

In Dewey, J. "Logical Conditions of a Scientific Treatment of Morality", in: J. Dewey, Middle

Works, Vol. 3. Carbondale, 2008, p. 19 (cited in Anderson, D. "Who's A Pragmatist?", in: D. R. Anderson & C. R. Hausman, Conversations on Peirce: Reals and Ideals. New York, 2012, p. 34).

3

4

5

6

priority of Mr. Peirce's statement, or its more generalized logical character, I feel that my own statement has something of the value of an independent confirmation8.

On pragmatism's social logic, Anderson notes that "For Dewey, instrumentalist pragmatism was about transforming the world of our experience, and he was not shy in adopting his own version of what Royce in derogatory fashion referred to as 'pure pragmatism': 'The popular impression that pragmatic philosophy means that philosophy shall develop ideas relevant to the actual crises of life, ideas influential in dealing with them and tested by the assistance they afford, is correct'"9.

Dewey's philosophers were not a priori-driven deductivists; they were artists and healers whose work hinged on experimental method, on creating and testing hypotheses to deal with the crises of existence. "A pragmatic intelligence," Dewey wrote, "is a creative intelligence, not a routine mechanic"10.

Augustine: While Augustine is not customarily numbered among the pragmatists, I share the views of Robert Marcus and John Deely that Augustine's transformation of Stoic logic into a triadic semiotic is a probable antecedent to Peirce's pragmatic semeiotic. Of the tenets of classical pragmatism, Augustine's writings, De Trinitate in particular, provide instruction in both formal and nonformal procedures for identifying, reading and criticizing signs of binary reasoning and for introducing non-binary reasonings as instruments of repair. By way of illustration I will simply draw attention to my earlier comments on Augustine11. Of fundamental importance is Augustine's search, throughout the reservoir of Hellenistic philosophies, for logical models that would enable him to diagram the Bible's immanent patterns of signification and reasoning. His disappointment in all but the Stoic sources anticipates Peirce's disappointments with his peers' binary logics. Augustine discovered that only non-binary or triadic models of meaning and rationality enable him to warrant and decipher the Bible's non-binary, and in that sense nonlinear, rules of signification. Peirce's Existential Graphs may be the most refined extensions of Augustine's discovery12.

John of Poinsot. As published, translated and interpreted by John Deely, the 15th-century semiotic of John of Poinsot offers the most complete diagramming of Augustine's vision. As illustrated in the pragmatic semiotics introduced above, I see no more exacting means of diagramming pragmatism's logic of signification and logic of inquiry than the semiotic efforts of Augustine, Poinsot, Peirce, Deely and more recent authors13.

Werner Heisenberg: Heisenberg's is another name that rarely if ever appears in the company of classical pragmatists. His contributions to quantum mechanics and quantum applications of matrix mathematics should, however, have a central place in the education of future pragmatists. Neo-pragmatists may tend to reject

8 In Dewey, J. "Logical Conditions of a Scientific Treatment of Morality", pp. 19-20 (cited in Anderson, D. "Who's a Pragmatist?", p. 35).

iНе можете найти то, что вам нужно? Попробуйте сервис подбора литературы.

9 Anderson, D. "Who's a Pragmatist?", p. 39.

10 Dewey, J. Middle Works, Vol. 10. Carbondale, 2008, p. 43 (cited in Anderson, D. "Who's a Prag-matist?", p. 39).

11 See above.

On Peirce's existential graphs, see for example Peirce, Ch. S. "Prolegomena to an Apology for

Pragmatism", in: Ch. S. Peirce, Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Cambridge, Maas., 1933, pp. 530-572. See Deely, J. New Beginnings, Early Modern Philosophy and Postmodern Thought. Toronto, 1994; Deely, J. Basics of Semiotics. South Bend, Ind., 2004; Poinsot, J. Tractatus de Signis, 2nd ed. South Bend, Ind., 2013.

highly formal studies as necessarily "foundationalist" and illusory quests for certainty. But the neo-pragmatist aversion to the formal disciplines is misguided. The problem is not logic or mathematics but binarism. One of Peirce's most profound contributions is to have challenged modern western assumptions that what cannot be diagrammed within binary models of rationality cannot in fact qualify as rational. By dismissing efforts to construct non-binary logics, Rorty and other neo-pragmatists tend to reinforce these modern disjunctions. In his writings on physics and philosophy, Heisenberg suggests that Peirce's logical work (presumably, his logic of relatives, accounts of abduction and chance and his semeiotic) appears to have anticipated quantum theory by half a century. There are of course other anticipations: both Peirce and Heisenberg credit Kant's transcendental studies as setting the stage for their formal work; and there is a broad society of scientific and logical thinkers, from the late19th century through today, whose work brings precision-without-reduction (and without over-determination) to the disciplined study of natural and neural and cognitive and relational processes. The work of this broad society should be instructive to pragmatists, since pragmatic repair of dysfunctional habits of reasoning demonstrates how it is possible to reason in disciplined fashion about what can be known only probabilistically, performatively, and contingently. Following Peirce's lead, I would associate many creative, experimental scientists with this work: for example, Roger Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Antoine Lavoisier, Clerk Maxwell and many other physicists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Types of Analytic Pragmatism

Richard Rorty: In "The Degeneration of Pragmatism," Douglas Anderson compares Rorty to Dewey and Peirce in ways that deepen my use of the classical tenets. He explains:

My purpose is to provide a diagnostic descriptive overview of the present state of pragmatism, much in the way that Rorty himself addressed the history of philosophy. The difference is that I will examine the development of Rorty's pragmatism from the perspective of Peirce's pragmaticism14.

I will, however, articulate the lessons of Anderson's arguments in terms that differ somewhat from his. Anderson argues that Rorty undermines pragmatism; I prefer to say that Rorty diverges significantly from major tenets of classical pragmatism. Because Rorty advances a subset of these tenets, I prefer to assign his work to a different sub-community, named after Brandom's "analytic pragmatism"15. Because I identify with the community of classical pragmatism, I presuppose several elemental beliefs that are not operative in Rorty's work. For this reason, I de-

14 Anderson, D. "The Degeneration of Pragmatism: Peirce, Dewey, Rorty", in: D. R. Anderson & C. R. Hausman, Conversations on Peirce: Reals and Ideals. New York, 2012, p. 59.

15 Anderson cites John E. Smith's distinction between two kinds of Rorty: "For Smith, there are two Rorty characters: 1) 'rorty,' the philosopher 'who acutely captures the central drift of Pragmatism and brings it to bear on recent discussion in an illuminating way'; and 2) 'Rorty,' who 'is doing something quite different in latching onto Dewey and onto the idea of 'overcoming' the tradition in order to get rid of Platonism and metaphysics or what he sometimes calls 'Philosophy'" (Smith, J. E. America's Philosophical Vision. Chicago, 1992, p. 29, cited in Anderson, D. "The Degeneration of Pragmatism: Peirce, Dewey, Rorty", p. 67). In these terms, I prefer an approach that keeps both Rorty characters and preserves the dogmatic tension and whatever dysfunction comes with it.

vote my energies to strengthening directions of inquiry that fall outside of much of his work, but I do not want to spend my energy arguing beyond the limits of our shared interpretants.

Anderson criticizes Rorty for wedding himself to a strict nominalism, therefore, for example, praising Dewey's nominalist claims and rejecting his realist claims16. I do not mention realism among the tenets of classical pragmatism, because realist/nominalist positions tend to be argued as determinate principles rather than habits of belief or modes of inquiry. I therefore prefer Anderson's critique not of the nominalist claim per se but of Rorty's over-determined accounts of modes of philosophic inquiry: "Rorty saw all realism in terms of his notion of Platonic stasis and hinted at the need to replace it with a nominalistic pragmatism"17. In the terms of this essay, Rorty thereby diverges from classical pragmatism's warnings against binary reasoning and from its procedures for identifying signs of binary versus non-binary reasoning. A second divergence is Rorty's eschewing logical practice: a sign, for one, of another binary (starkly delegitimizing formal in favor of nonformal or edifying discourse). Anderson sharply criticizes Rorty's contradictory tendencies to both practice and yet argue against methodeutic inquiry. Anderson cites Richard Bernstein's incisive claim about Rorty's Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature: "[T]here is a variation of this Either/Or that haunts this book -either we are ineluctably tempted by foundational metaphors and the desperate attempt to escape from history or we must frankly recognize that philosophy itself is at best a form of "kibitzing"18. Anderson cites a comparably strong claim of Stanley Rosen's: that Rorty "displayed an unwitting kinship with Platonism in denying the possibility of a metaphysics that gives a complete account of the cosmos." Rosen explains that "the difference between the two is that for Plato, the falsehood of the image [of form] does not cancel its power to convey a perception of the truth"19.

These criticisms offer evidence of Rorty's surprising reenactment of what I earlier labeled Descartes' replacement philosophy, which proposes that philosophers' powers of criticism have sources outside their inherited habits and that these powers have universal form and function. To repeat my conclusion: replacement philosophies offer reparative claims as if they were constative; reparative claims re-read these constative claims as undisclosed efforts of repair (above). In my reading, Rorty contributes nonetheless to the sub-unit of analytic pragmatism, informed by several classical tenets. His pragmatism was powerfully devoted to criticizing academic abstraction and promoting the academy's responsibility for societal repair. And, despite some retrenchment, he worked overall on behalf of a non-formal, pragmatic methodeutic (see above).

Robert Brandom: Student of Rorty's, Brandom has emphasized what we might label the other side of analytic pragmatism. Rather than seek to replace analytic formalism with its perceived opposite, Brandom has pursued a mediating alternative consistent with the mediating, transcendental rationalism he admires in Kant and Hegel. I call the latter "mediating," because these thinkers attribute the work of mediation to the force of human cognition and will, unlike Peirce and Augustine (and Poinsot, Royce, Deely, Smith, Anderson and others), who identify

16 Anderson, D. "The Degeneration of Pragmatism: Peirce, Dewey, Rorty", p. 66.

17 Ibid., p. 68.

18 Bernstein, R. "Philosophy and the Conversation of Mankind: Critical Study of Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature by Richard Rorty", Review of Metaphysics, 1980, Vol. 33, No. 4, p. 747 (cited in Anderson, D. "The Degeneration of Pragmatism: Peirce, Dewey, Rorty", p. 70).

19 Rosen, S. The Ancients and the Moderns: Rethinking Modernity. New Haven, 1989, p. 181 (cited in Anderson, D. "The Degeneration of Pragmatism: Peirce, Dewey, Rorty", p. 71).

this mediation as the fruit of forces and sources antecedent to the human will and human cognition. Brandom's strongly language- and society-based pragmatism is consistent with strong tendencies in Dewey as well as Rorty and Sellers. But it diverges from the classical pragmatists' additional attention to the biosphere, as well as from Peirce's pragmatic pan-psychism and common-sense realism. Bran-dom shares in Peirce's efforts to bring formal reasoning and precision to pragmatic logic and methodeutic. As Bernstein argues, Peirce's writings offer evidence of both an operationalist and inferentialist method of inquiry, overlapping with the latter element of Brandom's inquiry. Peirce and Brandom also overlap in their attention to the societal ground of logic. Brandom diverges from Peirce, however, in his effort to bring inferentialism to a degree of definition and clarity that veils the analytic messiness and apparent informality of a more robust operationalism. Brandom is therefore less partial to Peirce's kind of triadicity. If, in his own words, Brandom pursues a Hegelian and thus rationalist pragmatism, Peirce's pragmatic rationalism recognizes the probabilistic and space-time contingency of that third which alone conditions non-binary relations (aRb). For Brandom as for Hegel, this contingency is less evident . While Peirce and Brandom both seek to reason systematically, Brandom's goal includes a cognitivism that Peirce eschewed: Peirce pursued systematic reasoning in relation to empirical contingencies, in that sense more like a quantum physicist than a philosopher of language.

With respect to the classical tenets, I find that Brandom has a mediating or in-between position on almost every tenet. His critique of academic representationalism reinforces classical critiques of academic abstraction and binarism as do his efforts to situate semantics within the context of pragmatics. In Bernstein's words, "Rorty praises Brandom because he advances one of the most thoroughgoing critiques of the representationalism that has dominated much of epistemology and semantics since the 18th century - including contemporary analytic philosophy"20. In this sense, Bran-dom affirms the classical account of the situatedness of knowing. At the same time, Brandom is otherwise inattentive to Peirce's account of genuine Thirdness and thus to modes and contexts of relationality outside of human social relations and their linguistic complements. While he offers a social logic and epistemology, he devotes less explicit attention to the themes of social responsibility that are prominent, for example, in Rorty and Dewey. Brandom's attention is more abstractive and indirect: emphasizing the setting of semantics in sociolinguistic performance. Brandom pursues a Hegelian, pragmatic rationalism that both strengthens and weakens the classical critique of abstractive inquiry in the academy: promoting habits of conceptualist/ cognitivist inquiry while also urging analytic philosophers to explore the social and performative situatedness of their epistemological work. Like Kant's, his epistemology provides grounds for normativity that are at once rational (of the transcendental subject) and intersubjective (and thus personal as well as social) and objective (irreducible to individuated subjectivity)21. But like Kant's, this mediating epistemology also lacks empirical contingency. Bernstein argues that Brandom achieves this mediation through "a Davidsonian understanding of intersubjectivity, an I-thou sociality"22.

20 Bernstein, R. The Pragmatic Turn. Malden, MA, 2010, p. 212.

21 In Bernstein's words, Brandom opens promising lines of inquiry for a "strong pragmatic account of justification, truth, and objectivity, one that avoids both relativism and conventionalism" (Ibid., p. 119).

22 Ibid., p. 121 (citing Brandom, R. Making It Explicit. Cambridge, Mass., 1994, p. 599). Bernstein suggests that his I-thou sociability corresponds to Peirce's notion of a community of inquiry. I believe that Bernstein and Brandom may share a neo-pragmatic aversion to authority of any kind, which I do not see operative in Peirce's account of scholastic and scientific models of community (See Bernstein, R. The Pragmatic Turn, p. 231, n. 21).

In this effort, Brandom affirms classical attention to the societal environment of nor-mativity, whether in Dewey's language of values or Peirce's language of normative science. But his distinction between the contributions of I-thou and I-we sociality to societal structure is overdrawn: a possible sign that he is prepared to compromise the classical critique of binary reasoning when it conflicts with his stronger aversion to societal authority23.

A Concluding Note

Consider this summary of the individual thinkers surveyed above. Measured with respect to the classical tenets, I would conclude that Rorty inhabits a subunit of pragmatic inquiry that works more efficiently outside the structures of classical pragmatism. Debates between classical pragmatism and Rorty's analytic pragmatism might serve educational and exploratory goals, but not practical ones: that is, such debates would not contribute to the efficient work of any community of pragmatic repair. Brandom's analytic pragmatism might interact productively with Rorty's community of inquiry, but its engagement with communities of classical inquiry would most likely serve academic/cognitive but not practical/performative ends. The survey of classical pragmatism suggests that pragmatists who pursue the classical tenets with different energies and degrees of commitment may specialize in different sub-disciplines of pragmatic inquiry: each contributing differently to the collective work of a community of pragmatic inquiry. In these terms, teamwork is essential to pragmatic inquiry, because no individual thinker/social-actor will embody and integrate the full range of sub-disciplines, skills, and institution-specific learning that pragmatic inquiry may demand. As represented by Peirce and Dewey, pragmatic inquiry is the work of a community/team and its associated divisions of labor. This tenet may appear challenging to thinkers committed to a thoroughgoing inferentialism. But it should not prove challenging to communities of inquiry in which inferentialists and operationalists work side by side: contributing to the short-term efforts of a shared project of pragmatic inquiry without seeking the kinds of conceptual agreement that would weaken their dynamic division of labor. In the terms of our sample of classical tenets, such space-time specific communities and projects of inquiry would be well served by a division of labor among devotees of Peirce, Dewey, James, Augustine, Poinsot, Heisenberg, and many more who share deep commitment to some significant portion of the classical tenets. I hope that devotees of Rorty and Brandom would want to join such communities/projects.

23 Brandom, R. Making It Explicit, pp. 37-41.

References

iНе можете найти то, что вам нужно? Попробуйте сервис подбора литературы.

Aiken, H. D. "American Pragmatism Reconsidered: I. Charles Sanders Peirce", Commentary Magazine, 1962, August 1 [https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/ american-pragmatism-reconsidered-i-charles-sanders-peirce/, accessed on 15.07.2018].

Anderson, D. "The Degeneration of Pragmatism: Peirce, Dewey, Rorty", in: D. R. Anderson & C. R. Hausman, Conversations on Peirce: Reals and Ideals. New York: Fordham University Press, 2012, pp. 58-72.

Anderson, D. "Who's A Pragmatist?", in: D. R. Anderson & C. R. Hausman, Conversations on Peirce: Reals and Ideals. New York: Fordham University Press, 2012, pp. 16-43.

Bernstein, R. "Philosophy and the Conversation of Mankind: Critical Study of Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature by Richard Rorty", Review of Metaphysics, 1980, Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 745-775.

Bernstein, R. The Pragmatic Turn. Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2010. xi, 263 pp.

Brandom, R. Making It Explicit. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1994. xxv, 741 pp.

Deely, J. Basics of Semiotics. South Bend, Ind.: St. Augustines Press, 2004. xiii, 149 pp.

Deely, J. New Beginnings, Early Modern Philosophy and Postmodern Thought. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994. xvi, 310 pp.

Dewey, J. The Middle Works: 1899-1924, 15 Vols. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2008.

Houser, N. "Peirce's Post-Jamesian Pragmatism", European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy, 2011, Vol. III, No. 1 [https://journals.openedition.org/ejpap/866, accessed on 20.06.2018].

James, W. Pragmatism. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1981. xviii, 134 pp.

Peirce, Ch. S. Collected Papers, 8 Vols, ed. by Ch. Harteshorne and P. Weiss. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1931-1958.

Poinsot, J. Tractatus de Signis, 2nd ed. South Bend, Ind.: St. Augustines Press, 2013. xl, 623 pp.

Rosen, S. The Ancients and the Moderns: Rethinking Modernity. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989. x, 236 pp.

Smith, J. E. America's Philosophical Vision. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. vii, 213 pp.

Классические основоположения как мера прагматизма

Питер Окс

Бронфмановский профессор современной иудаистики. Вирджинский университет. University of Virginia. 1540 Jefferson Park Ave, Charlottesville, VA 22903; e-mail: pochs@virginia.edu

Джон Э. Смит утверждает, что прагматизмов можно насчитать едва ли не столько же, сколько самих философов-прагматистов. Почти все прагматисты единодушны в критике абстракционистского и редукционистского типа мышления, царящего в современных университетах, однако большинство из них придерживались совершенно несхожих воззрений на то, как и исходя из каких целей надлежит вносить исправления в сложившуюся в научной среде процедуру умозаключений. Собственные взгляды Смита испытали определяющее влияние классических версий прагматизма, созданных Пирсом, Дьюи, Джеймсом, а также Ройсом, при этом различия, присущие этим источникам, лишь способствовали внутреннему динамизму прагматизма Смита. Куда меньше Смит был впечатлен достижениями неопрагматистов, отвергнувших ключевые положения классической теории. Моя задача в этом небольшом очерке - составить примерный перечень этих положений, опираясь на труды Смита и некоторых из числа разделяющих его приверженность классическому взгляду на вещи современных прагматистов, таких как Ричард Бернстайн,

Джон Дили и Даг Андерсон. Данные положения я переформулирую в терминах прагматической семиотики, прилагающей семиотику Пирса к классическим теориям изменения привычек и восстанавливающего умозаключения, что позволяет рассматривать таковые положения как знаки основополагающих представлений прагматизма. В полном согласии с тем, что говорит о подобных «исходных» представлениях Пирс, они не должны мыслиться как изолированные утверждения о мире или как четко определяемые рациональные принципы, но скорее как свободно организованная динамичная совокупность привычек. Привычки развиваются, меняются, перемешиваются между собой и отделяются одни от других на протяжении всего хода интеллектуальной и социальной истории. Мы способны только смутно угадывать их; любое описание их остается приблизительным; они проявляют себя лишь опосредованно, через последствия своего воздействия. К числу таких последствий относятся факты возникновения среди философов, ведущих прагматические исследования, «субсообществ»; наличия «субсетей» по привычкам; появления экзистенциально окрашенных циклов социального действия и потоков устного и письменного слова, включая контекстно обусловленные, конкретно определенные утверждения о мире, о других утверждениях и о привычках исследования, например, в прагматизме. Среди таких утверждений находит себе место и мой способ формулировки основоположений, равно как и мои доводы, касающиеся истории прагматизма. Этим утверждениям свойственна определенность, которой нет ни у привычек прагматизма, ни у его основоположений.

Ключевые слова: американский прагматизм, Чарльз Пирс, Джон Дьюи, Августин, бинарное мышление, семиотика, картезианство, изменение привычек