A Natural History of Pragmatism by Joan Richardson

By Joan Richardson

Joan Richardson offers a desirable and compelling account of the emergence of the indispensable American philosophy: pragmatism. She demonstrates pragmatism's engagement with quite a few branches of the average sciences and lines the improvement of Jamesian pragmatism from the overdue 19th century via modernism, following its pointings into the current. Richardson combines strands from America's spiritual adventure with clinical info to provide interpretations that holiday new floor in literary and cultural background. This ebook exemplifies the worth of interdisciplinary methods to generating literary feedback. In a sequence of hugely unique readings of Edwards, Emerson, William and Henry James, Stevens, and Stein, A common heritage of Pragmatism tracks the interaction of spiritual intent, medical hypothesis, and literature in shaping an American aesthetic. Wide-ranging and impressive, this groundbreaking ebook may be crucial analyzing for all scholars and students of yank literature.

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For Edwards, for Emerson, and for the other figures who are the subjects here, it is as though theaters or stages are set up within their sentences so that we end up with periods containing within themselves not only images, tropes, and analogies to make the idea clear but, in addition, stage directions for the performance of utterance, even if only to ourselves, as speakers/readers engaging in a kind of prayer. These performances provide the signals for positive action, or, at the very least, the taking on of a particular attitude in relation to the fact described or idea presented.

To let in external visible resemblances, or some ideas of things without; would the pictures coming into such a dark room but stay there and lie so orderly as to be found upon occasion it would very much resemble the understanding of a man. John Locke, An Essay concerning Human Understanding the mind f eels when it thinks 1 In 1948 Perry Miller published an essay entitled “Jonathan Edwards on ‘The Sense of the Heart’” around the text of one of Edwards’s “Miscellanies,” no. 782, which bears the multiple title, “Ideas.

26 Perry Miller beautifully described this context in the passage quoted here earlier (p. ”27 More recently, George Marsden in his expansive biography of Edwards, commenting on light as his “favorite metaphor,” observes: “No one looked more In Jonathan Edwards’s room of the idea 33 intensely at the biblical meaning of light for his day than did Edwards. For him, light was the most powerful image of how God communicated his love to his creation.

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