This course, like a couple of others, I've tried at both the graduate and undergraduate level.  In both cases it is simply an exploration of some of the central texts of American Pragmatist Philosophers.  At the graduate level, students read more of these texts, and also some texts outside that tradition, but which I've nonetheless found suggestively connected to it.

At the undergraduate level, I wanted to keep the focus on working slowly through the texts.  So the reading load is pretty light in terms of quantity.  Here's the reading schedule for the undergraduate version:

Week I    Course Introduction, Rorty, Philosophy as Social Hope, "Introduction" and "Chapter 1" (optional)

Week II    William James, Pragmatism, Chapters 1-4

Week III    "            ", Chapters 5-8

Week IV   John Dewey, Art as Experience ,Chapter 1-3

Week V   "            ", Chapter 4-6

Week VI "            ", Chapter 7-8

Week VII   "            ", Chapters 9 and 10

Week VIII   "            ", Chapter 11-12

Week IX   "            ", Chapter 13-14

Week X Richard Rorty, Philosophy as Social Hope, Chapter 2

Week XI "            ", Chapter 3

Week XII  "            ", Chapter 4

Week XIII "            ", Chapters 7-9 and 10-12

Week XIV "            ", Chapters 14, 16 - 20, and "Afterword"

For my graduate seminar version of the Pragmatism course, we read as follows:

Week I         Fun William James, "The PhD Octopus", "The True Harvard", "What is the value of the college-bred?" [from coursepack]

Week II       James, Pragmatism in Pragmatism and Other Writings, pp. 5-132

Week III       James, A Pluralistic Universe, pp. 1-129

Week IV       James, A Pluralistic Universe, pp. 133-273

Week V      James, A Pluralistic Universe, pp. 277-400

Week VI       James, from The Will to Believe  in Pragmatism and Other Writings, pp. 193-263

Week VII      James, from Talks to Teachers on Psychology: And to Students on Some of Life's Ideals in Pragmatism and Other Writings, pp. 267-303

Week VIII      John Dewey, "The Need for a Recovery of Philosophy" [from coursepack] and Art as Experience, Ch. 1-3, pp. 3-57.

Week IX      Dewey, Art as Experience, Ch. 4-5, pp. 59-105

Week X       Dewey, Art as Experience, Ch. 6-8, pp. 106-186

Week XI      Dewey, Art as Experience, Ch. 9-11, pp. 187-271

Week XII      Dewey, Art as Experience, Ch. 12-14, pp. 272-349

Week XIII      Martin Heidegger, Discourse on Thinking

Week XIV       Thomas Merton, "Rain and the Rhinoceros" [from coursepack] and Stephen Batchelor, Buddhism Without Beliefs

Week XV             Emerson, "Self-Reliance" and "The American Scholar" [from coursepack]

Students in this course also presented a couple of different recommended volumes or ideas:  Richard Rorty's Contingency, Irony, Solidarity, pragmatics in linguistics, Stephen Batchelor's The Faith to Doubt, and Louis Menand's The Metaphysical Club.

 


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