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Synopsis

This book addresses the rift between major philosophical factions in the United States, which the author describes as a "philosophically becalmed" three-legged creature made up of analytic philosophy, continental philosophy, and pragmatism. Joseph Margolis offers a modified pragmatism as the best way out of this stalemate. Whether he is examining Heidegger or rethinking the foibles of Dewey, Rorty, and Peirce, much of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Western philosophy comes into play as Margolis presents his history of philosophy's evolution and defends his views. He does not, however, mean for philosophy to turn to the pragmatism of yore or even to its revival in the 1970s. Rather, he finds in recent approaches to pragmatism a middle ground between analytic philosophy's scientism (and its disinterest in analyzing human nature)and continental philosophy's reliance on attributing transcendental powers to mere mortals.

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