Sunday, June 20, 2010

Analytic wolves in pragmatist clothing

I am conflicted. I have been reading a good deal of interesting material on pragmatism that is either written by analytic philosophers or couched in analytic terms (or both). Much of this is pleasantly surprising in the sense that the usual bad attitude is absent. However, a further pleasure caused my conflict: should I be enjoying this stuff? Should I not instead be suspicious of attempts to graft analytic discourse onto pragmatism? Do I really want analytic theorising to make an impact within the pragmatist camp - even when it is qualified all over the place by 'minimalist', 'deflationary', 'quietist', and the like? After all, such theorising is often just too easy. Think, for example, of how little effort is required to forge a 'new' distinction. For all their virtues, and despite their inclination to throw around anchoring terms like "reality" and "truth", analytic theorists are generally answerable only to attenuated versions of history and the latest theoretical fads.

I will return to this topic. Meanwhile, perhaps I will have to attend some more APA (Analytic Philosophers Anomymous) meetings to help me get over this.

Apologies for the lack of postings - I have been incredibly busy.