By J. David Lewis
Lewis and Smith reconstruct the highbrow histories of either American pragmatism and sociology as they built from 1892 to 1935 on the college of Chicago. In doing so, the authors problem a lot present pondering in philosophy and sociology. opposite to the normal account of the historical past of yank pragmatism, which depicts the philosophies of Charles Peirce, William James, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead as forming a unified culture, the authors argue that there have been certain different types of American pragmatism. One was once the individualist pragmatism of James's and Dewey's practical psychology; the opposite used to be the extra socially orientated pragmatism of Peirce and Mead.
The authors current a reinterpretation of the highbrow impact of the pragmatists, in particular Mead, upon the early Chicago sociologists and the next culture of symbolic interactionism. via an research of appropriate texts, they exhibit that major sociologists of the interval, Small, Ellwood, Thomas, and Blumer, between others, approximate the philosophical culture of James and Dewey extra heavily than that of Mead and Peirce.
The convergence of textual, archival, and survey-based facts gathered through Lewis and Smith reopens the controversy in regards to the highbrow roots of yank sociology. Their research issues towards the necessity for a greatly revised background of symbolic interactionism, American pragmatism, Chicago sociology, and American sociology itself from 1890 to 1935.
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Additional info for American Sociology and Pragmatism: Mead, Chicago Sociology, and Symbolic Interaction
The nominalism and realism issue again became clouded by political strife. Nominalists advanced their ar guments as justification for their opposition to the power of the pope. 17). As a consequence, philosophy endured another period of utter dec adence. Ockhamists advocated a philosophy in which reality is “ dis solved into a chaos of individual entities with no stable causal structure open to our intelligence” (Wild, 1948:29). Thus, nominalists turned to formal logic and spurned philosophy of science.
This is one of the leading principles of Peirce’s whole system because it foreshadows his ideas of truth, reality, and pragmatism: There can hardly be a doubt that the existence of a fact does consist in the existence of all its consequences. That is to say, if all the conse quences of a supposed fact are real facts, that makes the supposed fact to be a real one. If, for example, something supposed to be a hard body acts in every respect like such a body, that constitutes the reality of that hard body; and if two seeming particles act in every respect as if they were attracting particles, that makes them really so.
We are not satisfied to wait for secondness to appear and then deal with it on its own terms. Secondness is the “ teaching experience” (Peirce, 1. 358), but it can be a cruel teacher if the pupil is not ready for the lesson. Consequently, we seek to anticipate the appearance of secondness by discovering laws that govern facts. Such specification of a relationship between a firstness and a secondness is itself categorically different from firstness or secondness. This brings us to Peirce’s final category.