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Titles By Joan Richardson
A Natural History of Pragmatism: The Fact of Feeling from Jonathan Edwards to Gertrude Stein (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Book 152) Dec 21, 2006
Joan Richardson provides a fascinating and compelling account of the emergence of the quintessential American philosophy: pragmatism. She demonstrates pragmatism's engagement with various branches of the natural sciences and traces the development of Jamesian pragmatism from the late nineteenth century through modernism, following its pointings into the present. Richardson combines strands from America's religious experience with scientific information to offer interpretations that break new ground in literary and cultural history. This book exemplifies the value of interdisciplinary approaches to producing literary criticism. In a series of highly original readings of Edwards, Emerson, William and Henry James, Stevens, and Stein, A Natural History of Pragmatism tracks the interplay of religious motive, scientific speculation, and literature in shaping an American aesthetic. Wide-ranging and bold, this groundbreaking book will be essential reading for all students and scholars of American literature.
Pragmatism and American Experience provides a lucid and elegant introduction to America's defining philosophy. Joan Richardson charts the nineteenth-century origins of pragmatist thought and its development through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, focusing on the major first- and second-generation figures and how their contributions continue to influence philosophical discourse today. At the same time, Richardson casts pragmatism as the method it was designed to be: a way of making ideas clear, examining beliefs, and breaking old habits and reinforcing new and useful ones in the interest of maintaining healthy communities through ongoing conversation. Through this practice we come to perceive, as William James did, that thinking is as natural as breathing, and that the essential work of pragmatism is to open channels essential to all experience.