Values and Powers

Re-reading the Philosophical Tradition of American Pragmatism


This book shows how much and in what sense values are related to powers and powers are related to values in American pragmatism. The proposed re-reading of American pragmatism will facilitate a novel understanding of it as a philosophical movement and, by showing its truly humanistic, democratic, and pro-social character, the stronger impetus for current rethinking of values is being provided.
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”Skowroński is to be applauded for placing a wide range of pragmatic theorists within a clear thematic structure. … Pragmatism’s strength lies in its forward moving and flexible approach to questions of value, power, and philosophy. The challenge is always to slow that movement down so we can savor the moments of illumination. Skowroński’s book is an engaging, if ultimately tentative, attempt to do just that.” in: Philosophy in Review XXX (2010), No. 5

Introduction: Values and Powers in a Philosophical Context
Part One: Proto-Pragmatic Approach to Values and Powers
A Prelude to American Pragmatism. Transcendentalism as “The Power of Thought and Will”
Charles S. Peirce’s Pragmaticism and the Revaluation of Thinking on Values and Powers
Part Two: Pragmatic Approach to Values and Powers
The Axiology of Pragmatic Metaphysics. The Powers of Men in William James
Loyalty to a Worthy Cause and Provincialism as “Saving Power” in Josiah Royce
John Dewey and the Might of Democratic Values
Democracy and Exclusion in Pragmatic Aesthetics (Dewey, Shusterman, Margolis)
Evaluative Character of Social Interactions in George Herbert Mead
Richard Rorty’s Liberal Democracy and the Limits of Cultural Imperialism
Part Three: Quasi-Pragmatic Approach to Values and Powers
Powers and Perfections in George Santayana’s Abulensean Pragmatism
Final Remarks
About the Author