American PragmatismAn Introduction
American Pragmatism
An Introduction

In this comprehensive introduction, Albert Spencer presents a new story of the origins and development of American pragmatism, from its emergence through the interaction of European and Indigenous American cultures to its contemporary status as a diverse, vibrant, and contested global philosophy. 

Spencer explores the intellectual legacies of American pragmatism’s founders, Peirce and James, but also those of newly canonical figures such as Addams, Anzaldúa, Cordova, DuBois, and others crucial to its development. He presents the diversity of pragmatisms, old and new, by weaving together familiar and unfamiliar authors through shared themes, such as fallibilism, meliorism, pluralism, verification, and hope. Throughout, Spencer reveals American pragmatism's engagement with the consequences of US political hegemony, as versions of pragmatism arise in response to both the tragic legacies and the complicated benefits of colonialism. 

<i>American Pragmatism</i> is an indispensable guide for undergraduate students taking courses in pragmatism or American philosophy, for scholars wishing to develop their understanding of this thriving philosophical tradition, or for curious readers interested in the genealogy of American thought.

Show More
Buy Now


Order Exam Copy

For Lecturers Only

More Info
  • January 2020
  • 224 pages
  • 143 x 221 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509524716
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9781509524723
  • Open eBook $19.99
  • 9781509524754
Table of Contents

An Introduction to American Pragmatism
1 Fallibilism and the Classical Pragmatists
2 Meliorism and the Chicago Pragmatists
3 Pluralism and the Harvard Pragmatists
4 Verification and the Analytic Pragmatists
5 Hope and the Visionary Pragmatists

About the Author
Albert R. Spencer is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Portland State University.
Show More


“This book is well written, extensively researched, broad in scope, and does an admirably good job of expanding the tent of American pragmatism (as it were) to include a variety of thinkers and movements who are not always sufficiently appreciated. It will be well received by students and scholars of American philosophy and pragmatism.”
David Rondel, University of Nevada, Reno​ 

“More than an introduction or a survey, this book makes the case for pragmatism’s diversity and richness. From its Indigenous roots to its inter-American and global reach, pragmatism is presented as a philosophical tradition that continues to be of contemporary relevance to contemporary problems.”
Gregory Pappas, Texas A&M University

"There is a lot to learn and to enjoy in Spencer's book about pragmatism, its history, and continued influence. I hope the book will encourage some of its readers to, in Spencer's words, 'devote their lives' to pragmatist thought or, more modestly and pragmatically, to use pragmatism as a tool for better understanding their world and themselves."
Midwest Book Review

Show More