In this comprehensive introduction, Albert Spencer presents a new story of the origins and development of American pragmatism, from its emergence through the interaction of European and Indigenous American cultures to its contemporary status as a diverse, vibrant, and contested global philosophy.
Spencer explores the intellectual legacies of American pragmatism’s founders, Peirce and James, but also those of newly canonical figures such as Addams, Anzaldúa, Cordova, DuBois, and others crucial to its development. He presents the diversity of pragmatisms, old and new, by weaving together familiar and unfamiliar authors through shared themes, such as fallibilism, meliorism, pluralism, verification, and hope. Throughout, Spencer reveals American pragmatism's engagement with the consequences of US political hegemony, as versions of pragmatism arise in response to both the tragic legacies and the complicated benefits of colonialism.
American Pragmatism is an indispensable guide for undergraduate students taking courses in pragmatism or American philosophy, for scholars wishing to develop their understanding of this thriving philosophical tradition, or for curious readers interested in the genealogy of American thought.