Stoic Pragmatism

Stoic Pragmatism

John Lachs
Distribution: World
Publication date: 4/18/2012
Format: paper 204 pages
6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-253-22376-0
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John Lachs, one of American philosophy's most distinguished interpreters, turns to William James, Josiah Royce, Charles S. Peirce, John Dewey, and George Santayana to elaborate stoic pragmatism, or a way to live life within reasonable limits. Stoic pragmatism makes sense of our moral obligations in a world driven by perfectionist human ambition and unreachable standards of achievement. Lachs proposes a corrective to pragmatist amelioration and stoic acquiescence by being satisfied with what is good enough. This personal, yet modest, philosophy offers penetrating insights into the American way of life and our human character.

Author Bio

John Lachs is Centennial Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.


"A direct attack on fundamentalisms of all sorts and on aggressive fanaticisms. . . . Lachs's recommendations for philosophy and for life are rooted in a deeply thought-out individualism that is not individualistic . . . a program for philosophy and a program for life." —Robert E. Innis, University of Massachusetts Lowell

"Lachs uses his interpretations and assessments of leading philosophical figures to craft and express his own original outlook." —Jessica Wahman, Dickinson College

Few scholars have comprehended the capacities and limitations of classical American philosophy better than Lachs, who looks even further back to the Stoics as a model for understanding pragmatism. ... Recommended." —Choice

". . . I am confident thatStoic Pragmatism, like Walden, will elevate and humble readers by reminding them of their half-forgotten hopes for a nobler life." —Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

". . . a valuable contribution to the ongoing discussion of how pragmatism should be developed today . . . ." —Transactions C S Peirce Society

"Stoic Pragmatism offers plenty of appeal and promise. It fulfills its pragmatic mission of aiming at amelioration and encouraging our hopes – hopes partly inspired by Lachs’s promise of further statements and refinements of his views." —Philosophy in Review

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Table of Contents

1. What Can Philosophy Do to Make Life Better?
2. Stoic Pragmatism
3. Infinite Obligations
4. An Ontology for Stoic Pragmatism
Epilogue: The Personal Value and Social Usefulness of Philosophy
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