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A Natural History of Pragmatism: The Fact of Feeling from Jonathan Edwards to Gertrude Stein - Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture 152 (Paperback)
  • A Natural History of Pragmatism: The Fact of Feeling from Jonathan Edwards to Gertrude Stein - Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture 152 (Paperback)
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A Natural History of Pragmatism: The Fact of Feeling from Jonathan Edwards to Gertrude Stein - Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture 152 (Paperback)

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£26.99
Paperback 346 Pages / Published: 21/12/2006
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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.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521694506
Number of pages: 346
Weight: 460 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Joan Richardson's book is nothing less than a revolution in our understanding of pragmatism. Pragmatism has been understood as rooted in a specifically American experience; it has also been understood to change the way we think about language. Richardson has welded these two interpretations of pragmatism into a single stunning insight. Her book will change the way you think about the history and meaning of pragmatism, and it will change the way you think about the history and meaning of American literature, too.' Louis Menand
'With impressive intellectual range and literary finesse, Joan Richardson's A Natural History of Pragmatism proposes that the evolution of Pragmatism - out of the settlers' religion and the experience of the new continent and out of the Darwinian event - into the dominant philosophy of the new nation exemplifies the evolutionary development of thinking within Pragmatism itself. Even one who sees an Emersonian current in American thinking that rather contests than confirms the pragmatist progression recognizes that Richardson's deployment of her material by reference to evolutionary biology and neuroscience presents a formidable charge against this oppositional sense of our philosophical temperament.' Stanley Cavell

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