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European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy

The European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy (EJPAP) is an online peer reviewed journal which stems from the experience of the Cultural Society Pragma (www.associazionepragma.com), and it will be published twice a year. It is accessible  on line and access is free.

EJPAP publishes articles which explore the American tradition in philosophy, with a special focus on pragmatism and on the relationships of pragmatism to the European tradition. Both historically minded and present-oriented papers are welcomed. EJPAP promotes exploration of interdisciplinary issues and approaches and favors the mutual dialogue among different philosophical traditions. To that extent, EJPAP welcomes contributions dealing with any field of philosophical inquiry: epistemology, philosophy of language, metaphysics and philosophy of science, philosophy of mind and action, ethics, aesthetics, social & political philosophy.

EJPAP offers worldwide scholars a reliable source for state of the art research through the publication of high quality research works. It provides also a shared platform for exchanging ideas, sharing research interests, framing research networks. The journal is launched with the awareness of the necessity of a common framework at the European level in order to facilitate the circulation of research outcomes among scholars speaking more than twenty different national languages but often working on very similar topics.

Each issue of EJPAP will generally be composed of three sections:

  • the first section – Symposia – presents a series of articles devoted to the exploration of a specific theme and is generally associated to a call for papers that will appear in the Forthcoming section of the journal and will stay open at least six months;

  • the second section – Essays – publishes a selection of the papers received by the journal in the former six or twelve months. Selection of papers is done by a peer review committee. Papers should be sent to EJPAP following the instructions available in the Manuscript & Submission section of the journal;

  • the third section – Reviews – publishes reviews of recently published works concerning topics covered by the journal. This section is intended at making accessible works written in European languages and liable to receive little audience outside the range of speakers of that language, but reviews of any book concerning Pragmatism and American philosophy are welcomed. Submission of Reviews should be done according to instructions available in the Manuscript & Submission section of the journal.

 

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Last Issue : EJPAP VII, 2, 2015 /Symposia. John’s Dewey Lectures in Social and Political Philosophy (China)

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CALL FOR PAPERS

EJPAP IX, 2, 2017 – Call for papers

Pragmatism and Common-Sense

European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy, Volume 9, No 2, 2017

Guest Editors: Gabriele Gava and Roberto Gronda

 

The 2017/2 issue of the EJPAP will discuss the relationships between pragmatism and common-sense. Its goal is to reflect on the importance of the notion of common-sense for pragmatism, both from a historical and a theoretical point of view, and to inquire whether pragmatism provides a distinctive and original approach to this concept.

Pragmatism understands human action as grounded on general habits of behavior. The dimension of habituality is what allows human beings to cope with environmental conditions in a way that makes it possible for them to feel at home in the world. The notion of common-sense is therefore intrinsically relevant to a philosophical approach emphasizing habitual interactions with the world. Moreover, pragmatists have often proposed a kind of “conservatism” in epistemology – that is, they argue that common-sense beliefs need not be justified until there are authentic or “living” reasons to doubt them. In other words, pragmatists disallow merely possible skeptical scenarios as reasons to doubt.

Thus, if the concept of common-sense is central to pragmatisms in this (and other) ways, it is nevertheless questionable whether a pragmatist approach implies a distinctive account of common sense that differs, essentially, from those available in other traditions of thought. To know these, we would need to answer the following kinds of questions: (1) Do pragmatists make use of a unique version of common sense or one that overlaps with other uses? (2) If it overlaps with other uses, how does this work? For example, one might consider the different roles of common sense in different contexts; (a) common-sense can be used to highlight the conceptual or normative primacy of the “ordinary” over the “derived” or refined products of scientific investigation; (b) alternatively, it can be used to defend the opposite thesis, that is, that everyday practices are open to a continuous and never-ending process of revision, through which they incorporate within themselves the results of science. Or, (c) common sense can be deployed either as an epistemological concept (which provides a sort of justification for certain claims to knowledge) or, in a sort of Deweyan spirit, as a tool to defeat the very possibility of epistemological accounts of knowledge. In this latter sense, focusing on the notion of common-sense can reveal those theoretical assumptions which are at the basis of different versions of pragmatism.

We welcome contributions from any area of philosophy, and encourage social scientists and theorists of politics to also participate. Possible topics for discussion are: a) the historiographical assessment of the relation of pragmatism to the Scottish philosophy of common-sense; b) the influence of the theory of evolution on the pragmatist account of common sense; c) the similarities and differences between pragmatism and the “philosophy of the ordinary”; d) the possible relations to authors as different as Wittgenstein, Foucault, Bourdieu, to name only the most important ones; e) the relation between common-sense and science; f) the relation between pragmatist common-sensism and issues in contemporary epistemology such as the epistemology of virtues or the know-that/know-how distinction; g) the role played by a pragmatist-inspired notion of common-sense in social sciences.

 

Papers should be sent to roberto1gronda@gmail.com and gabriele.gava@gmail.com by May 31st, 2017. They should not exceed 12.000 words and must include an abstract of 150-400 words and a list of works cited. Papers will be selected on the basis of a process of blind review. They will be published in December 2017.


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CALL FOR PAPERS


EJPAP IX, 1, 2017 – Call for papers
Pragmatism and Psychologism

European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy, Volume 9, No. 1, 2017

Guest Editors: Rosa Maria Calcaterra and Roberta Dreon

 

According to the paradigmatic formula offered by Kant, the philosopher’s task consists of demonstrating “how we ought to think” as opposed to “how we do think” – that is, logical rules or norms must be separated from the functioning principles of the human mind or from psychological laws. For Kant, as well as for all those who have accepted his ‘normative’ approach to logic, the “how we do think” falls within the realm of psychology, whose task is indeed ‘to describe’ the actual features and conditions of human thought. Authors such as Frege and Husserl adopted this stance, that they contrasted to the so-called ‘psychologist’ account of knowing and thinking processes. As a matter of fact, the philosophy of the past century contains a dramatic oscillation between a strong condemnation of psychologism across-the-board – targeting phenomenology as well as certain emerging areas within analytic philosophy – and a more recent trend in the philosophy of mind and in the cognitive sciences to naturalize philosophical inquiries in a way that welcomes the translations of existing philosophical vocabularies into psychological ones.

 

According to the enemies of psychologism, James, Dewey, and Mead – though not Peirce – where responsible for a ‘psychologist fallacy’ consisting in conflating objective causes or necessary rules of logical processes with subjective reasons; as a consequence, pragmatist conceptions sharing Dewey’s understanding of logic as the natural history of thought have been criticized for missing the very point of logic altogether. Yet for the pragmatists the very dualism of logic and psychology was a problematic theoretical constructions that needed to be submitted to critical inquiry. Indeed, the very gist of pragmatist arguments such as the reject of the fact/value dichotomy in the name of the intertwinement of logic with the affective, biological and cultural sphere could be read as attempt at rethinking the relationships between logic and psychology. And pragmatist “cultural naturalism” can be seen as similarly attempting to overcome the psychologism/anti-psychologism divide. Actually, to those who pursue the goal of naturalizing philosophy, “cultural naturalism” sounds like a strange, ambiguous creature, basically as untrustworthy as every form of emergentism. For what kind of psychologism, critics might again ask, eliminates “consciousness” and “mind,” rejects dualistic (and reductionistic) differentiations between the psychical/physical, and instead emphasizes social component of thinking and acting norms?

 

The 9, 1, 2017 issue of the European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy will investigate the perspectives opened up – or closed down – by the different pragmatist approaches to this topic, aiming at outlining their specific and potential novel role in the study of the relation between philosophy and psychology as well as of normative and descriptive philosophical stances.

We welcome any contribution that (I) will clarify classical or neopragmatist positions on this subject, (II) compare pragmatist views with other philosophical positions in the field, or (III) propose new approaches and solutions to the problems envisaged by pragmatists.

Papers should be sent to Rosa M. Calcaterra (rosamaria.calcaterra@uniroma3.it) and to Roberta Dreon (robdre@unive.it) by January 15, 2017. Papers should not exceed 12.000 words (bibliography and footnotes included) and must include an abstract of 200-400 words and a list of works cited. Papers will be selected on the basis of a process of double blind review. Acceptance of papers will be notified before April, 15th 2017. Papers will be published in July 2017.

 


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CALL FOR PAPERS


EJPAP VIII, 2, 2016 – Call for papers
Pragmatism and the Writing of History

European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy, Volume 8, No. 2, 2016

Since its birth, pragmatism has held a more intimate relation to the empirical study of the past than almost any other philosophical school. In part because of their reevaluation and reconstruction of the nature of empirical observation, pragmatists have been particularly sensitive to the epistemic dimension of historical inquiry. Professional historians have also recognized this, and have often drawn upon pragmatism when they had to reflect on their own methodologies. Despite the richness of the interactions between pragmatists and historians, however, it is still necessary for these various scholars to locate common areas of interest. Doing this would also shed light on the central role history has already played in the work of the classical pragmatists.

A good example of the latter point is C. S. Peirce, whose writings on the history of science, although never published in his lifetime, exerted a decisive influence on his philosophy. A bit later, G. H. Mead and J. Dewey explicitly reflected on the scope and methods of historical writing. The specifically historical dimension of human affairs played for them a fundamental role – as evidenced by their insistence on process and temporality, as well as their naturalized conception of action-as-interaction, temporally connecting subjects and environments. Over the decades, their views have prodded subsequent scholars to conceive of practices and institutions as emerging from processes developing over time, in a way that required careful consideration of the tools of narrative and diachronic explanation.

The interest of pragmatist philosophers in history is accompanied by a complementary interest of professional historians in pragmatism, one which begun back in the 1920s (C. Beard, M. Curty, J. H. Randall are some notable examples) and endures today (for instance in the work of T. Kloppenberg, T. Haskell, D. Hollinger). Some contemporary historians have greeted the advent of a new “pragmatist” or “pragmatic” turn in their discipline. By doing so, they join a larger debate that is taking place among social scientists interested in the spatial and temporal situatedness of human action. Also, some historians of art and culture (such as Edgar Wind) have seized upon pragmatist ideas to shape their cultural inquiries.

The 2016/2 issue of the European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy will explore this broad spectrum of ideas. We invite contributions from historians, philosophers, literary scholars, and social scientists. Submissions may deal with the general relevance of pragmatism to history, by addressing questions such as the nature of historical knowledge, its relation to normativity, and the ontological status of historical concepts. But they may also focus on the relevance of pragmatism to concrete historical practice, exploring, for instance, the role played by pragmatist ideas in the process of historical research, or the potential advantages and drawbacks of a pragmatist approach to history. Finally, we encourage contributions that describe the pragmatist philosophers’ takes on basic notions such as history, temporality or narrative; or submissions which present figures who have been particularly instrumental in the development of a pragmatist perspective on history.

Papers should be sent to roberto1gronda@gmail.com and tullio.viola@gmail.com by July 31st, 2016. They should not exceed 12.000 words and must include an abstract of 150-400 words and a list of works cited. Papers will be selected on the basis of a process of blind review. They will be published in December 2016.

Download the Call for Paper: EJPAP 2016, 8, 2

 

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CALL FOR PAPERS

 

Dewey’s Democracy and Educationa Century Later:
A Source of and a Resource for European Educational Theory and Practice

European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy, Volume 8, No. 1, 2016

Guest Editors: Stefano Oliverio, Maura Striano, Leonard J. Waks

 

Call for papers “Dewey’s Democracy and Educationas a Source of and a Resource for European Educational Theory and Practice: A Retrospective-Prospective View”

Guest editors: Stefano Oliverio (Post-Doc Researcher, Centro SInAPSi, University of Naples Federico II); Maura Striano (Full Professor of Education, University of Naples Federico II); Leonard J. Waks (Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership, Temple University).

 

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On the centennial anniversary of the publication of Dewey’s Democracy and Education(New York: Macmillan, 1916), a symposium of the European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophyintends to explore both the epoch-making significance and the topicality of the (ideas advocated in the) book for the development of European educational reflection.

Dewey’s philosophical-educational masterpiece represented a turning point in the educational discourse, inaugurating a radically new regime for educational theory which has deeply influenced the 20th century’s educational culture. It is in light of this permanent and deep influence that we invite scholars to contribute to this special issue.

In particular, this symposium will investigate two different but complementary thematic areas. The first will cover the reception of the book in Europe, where responses were of very different kinds: (a) responses coming from institutions and ideologies, such as the Catholic Church and Soviet-oriented Communism; and (b) responses from European educational practitioners and radicals. Some representatives of this latter group of innovators of educational practices were often openly in agreement with Dewey’s views, and their ideas contributed to a European appropriation and elaboration of the American philosopher’s tenets; others, however, although not always engaging directly with Dewey’s proposals, were completely contrary to the spirit of Democracy and Education.In this view, we suggest that Democracy and Education may beused as a sort of litmus test to assess in which horizon different (European) educational theories (and experiences) can be situated.

The second thematic area to be investigated is the relevance of Democracy and Educationfor the current European educational debate and for the educational policies that the EU has been championing since the Lisbon Memorandum(2000) aiming at the building of Europe as a space of learning. The latter point shall be explored, in its turn, from a double angle: does Democracy and Educationstill constitute a source for the framing of these policies and for the ongoing educational debate? What categories and notions of Dewey’s pedagogy continue to be timely and relevant for current debates? On the other hand, does the EU project of creating a trans-national space of learning (also by furthering a convergence of the different EU educational systems) really represent the outcome of an ‘educational philosophy’ (in a broad sense) akin to Dewey’s? Or could the latter act rather as a tool for the criticism of those trends in EU policies which seem more to be modelled according to the demands of the market society than to take the baton from the ideas which Democracy and Educationone century ago introduced into educational discourses and practices?

Given the interdisciplinary character of Dewey’s thought and, more generally, of the inquiry in matters of education he wanted to promote, also papers not specifically rooted in educational theory and philosophy (but drawing upon other disciplinary approaches such as sociology, psychology, history of philosophy etc.), or papers dealing with the educational relevance of Dewey’s thought for non European cultures will be considered.

 

FORMAT AND DEADLINES

Papers must:

• be written in English;

• be limited to 12,000 words;

• include an abstract of 200-400 words;

• include a list of works cited.

Accepted papers will have to be formatted according to the editorial style of the journal.

 

Full papers should be sent as an email attachment to Stefano Oliverio <<stefano.oliverio@yahoo.it>> by November 1, 2015 with “EJPAP Submission” in the subject header. Papers will be selected on the basis of a process of blind review.

Acceptance of papers will be determined before January 15, 2016.

Papers will be published in the June 2016 issue of EJPAP.

Please address any questions to Stefano Oliverio (stefano.oliverio@yahoo.it).

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