Shusterman’s Pragmatism

Between Literature and Somaesthetics


This book is the first essay collection on Richard Shusterman, the foremost representative of contemporary pragmatist aesthetics, a philosopher whose books have been translated into more than fifteen languages. The 12 essays, which cover the wide-ranging scope of Shusterman’s pragmatist thought, divide into three sections: Literary Theory and Philosophy of Art; Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ethics, and Politics; and Somaesthetics. Written by an international group of authors from different philosophical perspectives, the book’s essays not only provide a good introduction to Shusterman’s innovative pragmatist theories, but show their useful applications to important and controversial topics in philosophy, politics, religious and gender studies, the arts, and somaesthetics. The book also includes two new texts by Shusterman: an introductory essay in which he explains the trajectory of his intellectual development and a detailed response to the other contributors, which closes the book.

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"There are few contemporary thinkers in the tradition of American pragmatism as prolific or as creative as Richard Shusterman. His thought and work range from analytic aesthetics to political philosophy, from ethics to the importance of bodily habits in modern society. … Th[is] volume … highlights the remarkable international reception of Shusterman’s ideas. … [it] represents a valuable and unique contribution to contemporary pragmatism. No serious student of Dewey’s pragmatism or of Shusterman’s continually developing project of somaesthetics should be without this book on their shelves." – in: Journal of Aesthetic Education (2014)
"the articles of the collection make up a nice read …" – in: Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 28/4
Dorota Koczanowicz and Wojciech Małecki: Introduction
Richard Shusterman: A Pragmatist Path through the Play of Limits: from Literature to Somaesthetics
Literary Theory and Philosophy of Art
Anna Budziak: The Idea of Emotion in T. S. Eliot and in Richard Shusterman
Kacper Bartczak: Neo-pragmatist Models of Self-Development and the Poetic Subjectivity in John Ashbery’s Poetry
Wojciech Małecki: Challenging the Taboo of the Autobiographical
Dorota Koczanowicz: “You Must Change Your Life”: Pragmatism and the Therapeutic Function of Art
Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ethics, and Politics
Sami Pihlström: Philosophy and Life: Pragmatism, Wittgenstein, and Metaphysics
Adam Chmielewski: Faith and the Limits of Fallibilism
Don Morse: Erotic Pragmatism: Shusterman’s Deweyan Advances
Jerold J. Abrams: Shusterman and the Paradoxes of Superhuman Self-Styling
Monika Bokiniec: “Body Trouble”? Somaesthetics and Feminism
Krzysztof Piotr Skowroński: Aesthetics and Corporal Values
Robert Dobrowolski: Sampling (No)Body
Martin Jay: Somaesthetics and Democracy: Dewey and Contemporary Body Art
Richard Shusterman: Continuing Connections: Comments on the Preceding Essays
About the Contributors