Pragmatism and Justice

ISBN : 9780190459246

Susan Dieleman; David Rondel; Christopher Voparil
352 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
May 2017
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The essays in this volume answer to anxieties that the pragmatist tradition has had little to say about justice. While both the classical and neo-pragmatist traditions have produced a conspicuously small body of writing about the idea of justice, a common subtext of the essays in this volume is that there is in pragmatist thought a set of valuable resources for developing pragmatist theories of justice, for responding profitably to concrete injustices, and for engaging with contemporary, prevailing, liberal theories of justice. Despite the absence of conventionally philosophical theories of justice in the pragmatist canon, the writings of many pragmatists demonstrate an obvious sensitivity and responsiveness to injustice. Many pragmatists were and are moved by a deep sense of justice-by an awareness of the suffering of people, by the need to build just institutions, and a search for a tolerant and non-discriminatory culture that regards all people as equals. Three related and mutually reinforcing ideas to which virtually all pragmatists are committed can be discerned: a prioritization of concrete problems and real-world injustices ahead of abstract precepts; a distrust of a priori theorizing (along with a corresponding fallibilism and methodological experimentalism); and a deep and persistent pluralism, both in respect to what justice is and requires, and in respect to how real-world injustices are best recognized and remedied. Ultimately, Pragmatism and Justice asserts that pragmatism gives us powerful resources for understanding the idea of justice more clearly and responding more efficaciously to a world rife with injustice.


List of Contributors
List of Abbreviations
Susan Dieleman, David Rondel, and Christopher J. Voparil, Introduction: Perspectives on Pragmatism and Justice

Part I: The Pragmatist Turn To Justice
Chapter 1. Richard Rorty, Justice as a Larger Loyalty
Chapter 2. Nancy Fraser, Abnormal Justice
Chapter 3. Christopher J. Voparil, Pragmatism's Contribution to Nonideal Theorizing: Fraser, Addams, and Rorty
Chapter 4. Gregory Pappas, Empirical Approaches to Injustice: Elizabeth Anderson and the Pragmatists
Chapter 5. Matthew Festenstein, Ideal and Actual in Dewey's Political Theory
Chapter 6. Ruth Anna Putnam, Justice in Context
Chapter 7. Susan Dieleman, Realism, Pragmatism, and Critical Social Epistemology

Part II: Resisting Oppression and Injustice
Chapter 8. Patricia Hill Collins, Social Inequality, Power, and Politics: Intersectionality in Dialogue with American Pragmatism
Chapter 9. V. Denise James, Pragmatism and Dreams of Justice: Between Radical Black Philosophy and Deweyan Democracy
Chapter 10. Colin Koopman, Contesting Injustice: Why Pragmatist Political Thought Needs Du Bois
Chapter 11. Jose Medina, Pragmatism, Racial Injustice, and Epistemic Insurrection: Toward an Insurrectionist Pragmatism
Chapter 12. Paul C. Taylor, An Aesthetics of Resistance: Deweyan Experimentalism and Epistemic Injustice
Chapter 13. Shannon Sullivan, Setting Aside Hope: A Pragmatist Approach to Racial Justice

Part III: Pragmatism, Liberalism, and Democracy
Chapter 14. Hilary Putnam, Reconsidering Deweyan Democracy
Chapter 15. Peter Manicas, Dewey and the Problem of Justice
Chapter 16. Robert B. Talisse, (What) Can Pragmatists Think About Justice? Pragmatism and Liberal Egalitarianism
Chapter 17. Cheryl Misak, A Pragmatist Account of Legitimacy and Authority: Holmes, Ramsey, and the Moral Force of Law
Chapter 18. David Rondel, William James on Justice and the Sacredness of Individuality

About the author: 

Susan Dieleman is Assistant Professor (with term) in the department of philosophy at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. She specializes in Social and Political Philosophy, Pragmatism, and Feminist Philosophy. She has published essays in Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, The Pluralist, Social Philosophy Today, and Social Epistemology. David Rondel is Assistant Professor in the department of philosophy at the University of Nevada, Reno. His areas of research specialization include egalitarianism, theories of distributive justice, Marx and Marxism, and American pragmatist political theory. He has published widely in these areas. His essays have appeared, among other places, in The Journal of Philosophical Research, The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, The Canadian Journal of Philosophy, and Contemporary Pragmatism. Christopher Voparil is on the Graduate Faculty of Union Institute & University, where he teaches philosophy and political theory.

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