Thursday, June 20, 2013

CFP: European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy


*“Language or Experience: Charting Pragmatism’s Course for the 21st Century”*

*European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy
* Volume 6, No. 2, 2014

Guest editor: David Hildebrand (Associate Professor and Chair, Department
of Philosophy, University of Colorado Denver, USA)


Thirty-plus years ago, Richard Rorty published *Consequences of Pragmatism*.
One consequence of that book—along with other subsequent work by Rorty—has
been to challenge the centrality of “experience” for pragmatism’s
conceptions of truth, morality, and reality. Rorty denigrated “experience”
argued that the notion should be eliminated from pragmatism. He criticized
pragmatists like Dewey and James for either lapsing into bad faith
(offering experience as a substitute for “substance,” or “mind,” etc.) or
for simply lacking the linguistic tools (devised later by analytic
philosophy) to escape philosophical dead ends.

Rorty’s challenge, one may safely assert, created both space and motivation
for the development of a more language-centered pragmatism, sometimes
called “neopragmatism” or “new pragmatism.” This language-centered strategy
has become important in the work of figures such as Robert Brandom, Huw
Price, Cheryl Misak, Michael Williams, and Bjørn Ramberg.

However, while Rorty was trying to eliminate experience from pragmatism,
contemporaries of Rorty (e.g., John J. McDermott and Richard Bernstein)
were elucidating the notion and arguing for its *indispensability* to
pragmatism. In a recent book (2010) Bernstein argued that a pragmatic
conception of inquiry requires experience: “Redescription,” Bernstein
writes, “no matter how imaginative, is not enough.” Bernstein traces this
lesson to Charles S. Peirce’s view that “experience involves bruteness,
constraint, ‘over-and-againstness’. Experience is our great teacher. And
experience takes place by a series of surprises.” Without this element,
Bernstein argues, experimental inquiries lack friction. This
experience-centered approach informs the work of a variety of recent
contemporary pragmatists such as Thomas Alexander, Richard Shusterman,
Charlene Haddock Seigfried, Gregory Pappas, Douglas Anderson, and many

This issue of the *European Journal of Pragmatism and American
Philosophy* seeks
to provoke debate about the motives and stakes behind these two approaches
to pragmatism. We welcome any contribution that (i) takes a stand defending
“experience” or “language” as central for (neo/new)pragmatism in the 21st
century or (ii) explains the importance of “experience” or “language” for
pragmatist applications in other disciplines— aesthetics, political theory,
literary criticism, environmental ethics, medical ethics, public
administration, etc. or (iii) proposes (neo/new)pragmatist formulations
that resolve or dissolve familiar tensions between language and experience
(possibly by showing them in innovative relations or by re-interpreting
their derivation from classical or neopragmatist works).


- be written in English
- be limited to 12,000 words
- include an abstract of 200-400 words
- include a list of works cited

*Papers should be sent as an email attachment to David Hildebrand << >> before December 1, 2013 with “EJPAP Submission” in
the subject header. *Acceptance of papers will be determined before
February 15, 2014. Papers will be selected on the basis of a process of
blind review and published in the December 2014 issue of EJPAP. Please
address any questions to David Hildebrand, Associate Professor of
Philosophy, University of Colorado Denver << >>

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