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The Hidden GodPragmatism and Posthumanism in American Thought$
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Ryan White

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231171007

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231171007.001.0001

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Pragmatism and the Meaning of America

(p.50) 2 Inside-Out
The Hidden God

Ryan White

Columbia University Press

Pragmatism has from the beginning moved along two separate paths. On one side is the “pure experience” evoked by William James while on the other is the impersonal semiotic machinery of Charles Sanders Peirce. Jamesian pragmatism, however, gestures towards the contingency of theory by claiming a space of self-exception while Peirce’s “pragmaticism” moves more decisively towards an embrace of radical contingency by theorizing a reality that remains (as yet) unknown. That is, Peirce’s pragmatism is able to theorize its own limitation. Turning to Peirce thus entails a turn to a posthumanist form of pragmatic thinking.

Keywords:   Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, America, Theory, Pragmatism, Community

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