William James, Pragmatism, and American Culture

William James, Pragmatism, and American Culture

Deborah Whitehead
Distribution: World
Publication date: 01/21/2016
ISBN: 978-0-253-01824-3
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William James, Pragmatism, and American Culture focuses on the work of William James and the relationship between the development of pragmatism and its historical, cultural, and political roots in 19th-century America. Deborah Whitehead reads pragmatism through the intersecting themes of narrative, gender, nation, politics, and religion. As she considers how pragmatism helps to explain the United States to itself, Whitehead articulates a contemporary pragmatism and shows how it has become a powerful and influential discourse in American intellectual and popular culture.

Author Bio

Deborah Whitehead is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder.


“Skillfully places James's work in cultural and historical context, richly exploring how pragmatism functioned and continues to function as a mode of American cultural rhetoric as the U.S. struggles to understand itself in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.”
 — Shannon Sullivan, author of Good White People: The Problem with Middle-Class White Anti-Racism

“Continues and adds to a rich conversation among American philosophers concerning the origins of pragmatism and its possibilities for the future.”
 — William Gavin, University of Southern Maine

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
1. Varieties of Pragmatism
2. Genealogies of Pragmatism
3. Pragmatism and the American Scene
4. The Gender of Pragmatism
5. Pragmatism Comes of Age
Conclusion: Continuing the Argument