7/5/12

Anthony Gottleib, reviewer, misunderstands Peirce, Pragmaticism and Lord knows how much else

‘America the Philosophical,’ by Carlin Romano - NYTimes.com:

By ANTHONY GOTTLIEB
Published: June 28, 2012
"What of the idea that Americans are inherently practical? Many of the country’s best-known intellectuals have certainly liked to think of themselves that way. America’s principal homegrown school of philosophy is, after all, the pragmatism of C. S. Peirce, William James and John Dewey, which was born at Harvard in the 1870s. According to pragmatism, our theories should be judged by their practical value rather than by their accuracy in representing the world. The ultimate fate of this idea was neatly put by a great American philosophical wit, Sidney Morgenbes­ser, who said it was all very well in theory, but didn’t work in practice. He meant that pragmatism sounds like a good ruse, but it emerges as either trivial or incoherent when you try to flesh it out. There are weaker strains of philosophical pragmatism, which investigate the meaning of our concepts by looking at how we use them. But this idea is mainly the property of Wittgenstein, who may have been gay but was certainly not ­American."

'via Blog this'

This is one of the most ill-informed paragraphs I have ever had the misfortune to read.

To say that pragmatism was born in the 1870s without giving exclusive attribution to Charles Sanders Peirce is simply false.

To fail to explain that Peirce renamed his philosophy pragmaticism after it was widely misunderstood is understandable but adds to the ineptitude of this text.

Noting that Peirce was explicitly barred from a career at Harvard  would be too much to expect.

But the most idiotic thing above is the careless statement that pragmatism ranks practicality above accuracy. It is clear the reviewer has no acquaintance with Peirce, who may well have had an over-reliance on scientific method. Accuracy was hardly absent as Peirce's goal. And practicality was not among his virtues.

This review is insignificant in the scheme of things. But it demonstrates yet again that when it comes to America's greatest intellect smaller minds continue to enjoy an evident feeding frenzy.



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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 05, 07:59 AMNYT Olympic Arrogance "Competitions drenched in privilege, like the equestrian events, should be ditched." http://t.co/D23lhBzs
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 05, 07:56 AMKristof NYT "Hopes become self-fulfilling as people work more industriously and invest more wisely." http://t.co/Ze07lzvB
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 05, 07:44 AMInstead of courting more nuclear doom, we should triple our commitment to renewables. Cheaper now than in the wake of more disasters.
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 05, 07:41 AMNYT - Fukushima Nuclear Crisis a Man-Made Disaster, Report Sayshttp://t.co/s9OVgUew
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 05, 06:53 AMRT @maritzasolito: Scroll through this #Obama2012 slideshow for a look at Obamacare by the numbers, then pass it on: http://t.co/GobMz9xX
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 05, 03:58 AMRT @adbridgeforth: NYT blockbuster: how #Romney rigged the system so he won when employees, creditors, even investors, lost. ...
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 10:18 PM@KeithOlbermann We watched from our perch on 34th a miniscule fraction of what used to be. Did they sell seats on Chelsea Pier?
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 08:26 PMWhile We Were Sleeping ALEC Covertly Changed Our Country - A Patriotic American - Open Salon http://t.co/dZF4e3cQ
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 08:19 PMHere is a list of the GOP conspirators who met 1.20.2009 to bring down the President | ShortFormContent at Blogger http://t.co/PnyaAjPc
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 06:56 PM@BlazePhoenix_ @Mattison The Guardian has headlines that should be in the NYTimes. Shameful on the NYTimes' part.
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 06:54 PM@Wolfenhaus @mmfa I assume that there was hardly any speculation about it. I doubt it was because they thought about whether it was real/
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 06:50 PM@davidaxelrod Tell the President to question @MittRomney 's cop imitation history during the debates.
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 06:44 PM@DrinkBeerN0tTea @CNNSitRoom @joanwalsh @MittRomney. Mitt, care to explain this? I know you are on vacation. Maybe Eric?
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 06:35 PMCharles Sanders Peirce. Synechism is "the doctrine that all that exists is continuous." 1.172
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 06:26 PM@wilmajazz @maddow This election will have a 2 or 3-1 ad disadvantage and rampant voter suppression. Take nothing for granted.

stephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 06:22 PM@Liberalibrarian Thanks. I'll read it during the Tampa Convention. Hope he writes a sequel called The Death of the GOP.
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 06:15 PM@KurtRexCooper I have never been able to accept that the GOP would get through Tampa without imploding.
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 04:34 PMNYT 538 Obama chance of victory today - "68.3%+7.2 since June 26"http://t.co/kN9gFrXZ At this rate Tampa will be a wake.
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 04:27 PM@MittRomney Obama - "Romney has called the individual mandate he implemented in Massachusetts a tax many times before" http://t.co/1FUhkLwh
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 04:23 PM@MittRomney Were all the fees that you soaked MA residents with also taxes, Mitt.? Tell Eric thanks for telling the truth about you.
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 03:15 PM@JBucknoff I think the Koch's haven't the faintest idea of what their products and projects do to us. So far no boycott?
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 03:12 PM@MiccoDavid Thanks and a Happy 4th to you.
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 03:05 PMRT @stephencrose: How The Koch Economy Presages A Global Meltdown | ShortFormContent at Blogger http://t.co/QAKm9YMy
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 02:59 PMRT We should work to defeat every GOP conspirator on this list of those who met 1.20.09 to do in Obama http://t.co/xIcU8Ch0
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 02:11 PMZurker Log July 4, 2012 | ShortFormContent at Blogger http://t.co/zyTFfj8q
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 01:16 PMFavorites seriously reduced. Have a look to see what gets RTd.
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stephencrosestephencrose Stephen C. Rose Jul 04, 07:54 AMDespite NYT fears - http://t.co/4Lhgk78c - Obama will indeed defend ACA and defeat GOP "tax" overreach and idiocy. All in good time.
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