Pragmatic philosophy: Evolution, skepticism, and democracy

apple-88x50Stephen Hicks discusses pragmatism as a philosophical system. This is from Part 9 of his Philosophy of Education course.

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2 thoughts on “Pragmatic philosophy: Evolution, skepticism, and democracy

  • August 20, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Dr. Hicks, I enjoyed your series on Pragmatism. I have a comment about the submarine analogy. What the analogy does not take into account is all the knowledge the kidnapped person already has at his disposal. For example, he has a conceptual understanding of such ideas as cup, submarine, food, navigation. He most likely has a basic understanding of physics, which is necessary for him to attempt to navigate back home. The validity or truthfulness of all of this knowledge is never called into question, but vital for him to, not only survive on his adventure, but return safely to New York. Unfortunately, Pragmatists overlook this point.

  • August 21, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Hi Mark: Yes, the submarine analogy does not address the status of that prior knowledge. That may be a limitation of my analogy rather than a criticism of pragmatism. Some pragmatists are comfortable with knowledge-nativism, and those who are advocates of tabula rasa would reply that the submarine analogy is only partially useful in explaining their position.

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