Ayer, A.J. (1968) The Origins of Pragmatism: Studies in the Philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce and William James, San Francisco, CA: Freeman, Cooper & Co.
(A somewhat unsympathetic examination, by a disciple of Carnap, of selected aspects of classical pragmatism.)
Brandom, R. (1994) Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing and Discursive Commitment, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994.
(Chapter 1 sketches the similarities between the pragmatist view of meaning and Wittgenstein’s. Chapter 5 contains a strikingly original reinterpretation of the point of pragmatist theories of truth, and the formulation of a new theory along similar lines.)
Davidson, D. (1986) ‘A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs’ in E.
LePore (ed.) Truth and Interpretation: Perspectives on the Philosophy of Donald Davidson, Oxford: Blackwell, 433–446.
(Attacks the idea that a language is a set of conventions, or something possessing an isolable structure. See the responses to this essay by Michael Dummett and Ian Hacking, in the same volume.)
Davidson, D. (1974) ‘On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme’, repr. in Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984.
(Attacks ‘the third, and perhaps last, dogma of empiricism: the distinction between scheme and content’.)
Davidson, D. (1989) ‘The Myth of the Subjective’ in M.
Krausz (ed.) Relativism: Interpretation and Confrontation, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 159–172.
(A criticism of the subject-object analysis of knowledge.)
Davidson, D. (1990) ‘The Structure and Content of Truth’, Journal of Philosophy
(Argues that ‘triangulation’ between speaker, audience and world is required for intentionality.)
Dewey, J. (1882–1953) The Early Works, The Middle Works, The Later Works, Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1969–90.
(Dewey’s view of the nature and function of philosophy is best summarized in Reconstruction in Philosophy (1920; vol. 12 of The Middle Works), his ethical views are most fully laid out in Human Nature and Conduct (1922; vol. 14 of The Middle Works) and his understanding of democracy in The Public and Its Problems (1927; vol. 2 of The Later Works).)
Dewey, J. (1903) ‘Emerson - the Philosopher of Democracy’, The Middle Works, vol. 3, 184–192.
(This essay of 1909 describes Emerson as ‘the first and as yet almost the only Christian of the Intellect’.)
Diggins, J.P. (1994) The Promise of Pragmatism: Modernism and the Crisis of Knowledge and Authority, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
(A survey of uses of, and reactions to, the classical pragmatists’ thought by twentieth-century social and cultural critics in the US.)
James, W. (1890) The Principles of Psychology, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981.
(James said that this thousand-page treatise, originally published in 1890, ‘rejects both the associationist and the spiritualist theories [of mental functioning]’.)
James, W. (1897) The Will to Believe and Other Essays In Popular Philosophy, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979.
(The title essay (1896) defends the right to be religious in despite of science, and is James’ best-known and most controversial publication. This volume also includes ‘The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life’, which argues for ‘the impossibility of an abstract system of ethics’.)
James, W. (1907, 1909) Pragmatism and The Meaning of Truth, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979; reprint of two books in one volume.
(Pragmatism(1907) is the classic statement of James’ overall philosophical outlook. The essays collected in The Meaning of Truth (1909) - of which ‘Humanism and Truth’ and ‘The Pragmatist Theory of Truth and its Misunderstanders’ are the most incisive - defend his pragmatic theory of truth against its critics.)
James, W. (1912) Essays in Radical Empiricism, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1976.
(Defends a kind of neutral monism, especially in the essays ‘Does “Consciousness” Exist?’ and ‘A World of Pure Experience’.)
Kuhn, T.S. (1962) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
(Initiated the reaction against the attempt to isolate a ‘scientific method’ which differentiated science from other areas of culture.)
Lewis, C.I. (1923) ‘A Pragmatic Conception of the A Priori’, Journal of Philosophy
(A very influential article, which attempted to blend classical pragmatism with Kant. Lewis acted as intermediary between classical pragmatism and logical empiricism.)
Murphy, J.P. (1990) Pragmatism: From Peirce to Davidson, Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
(An introductory textbook. Murphy sees Quine and Davidson as continuing the pragmatist tradition. Contains a substantial bibliography.)
Okrent, M. (1988) Heidegger’s Pragmatism, Ithaca, NY, and London: Cornell University Press.
(Part One of this book discusses sections 12–24 of Being and Time, in which Heidegger’s anti-Cartesian arguments parallel those of the classical pragmatists.)
Quine, W.V. (1951) ‘Two Dogmas of Empiricism’ in From a Logical Point of View, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1953.
(A groundbreaking essay which initiated the ‘post-positivistic’ period of analytic philosophy.)
Peirce, C.S. (1934) Pragmatism and Pragmaticism, vol. 5 of Collected Papers, ed.
Hartshorne and P.
Weiss, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
(See especially the anti-Cartesian polemic in ‘Questions Concerning Certain Faculties Claimed for Man’ (1868) and ‘Some Consequences of Four Incapacities’ (1868), and also the first explicit formulation of Peirce’s pragmatism in ‘How to Make our Ideas Clear’ (l878). A new edition of Peirce’s papers is now in preparation.)
Putnam, H. (1981) Reason, Truth and History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
(Chapter 8, ‘The impact of science on modern conceptions of rationality’, is an important statement of pragmatism’s criticisms of logical empiricism.)
Putnam, H. (1987) The Many Faces of Realism, La Salle, IL: Open Court, 83.
(Collects essays in which Putnam offers pragmatist solutions of various problems.)
Putnam, H. (1990) Realism with a Human Face, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
(A collection of essays, replying to critics of pragmatism, and relating Putnam’s own work to James’, Dewey’s, and Goodman’s.)
Putnam, H. (1992) Renewing Philosophy, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
(Chapter 5, ‘Bernard Williams and the absolute conception of the world’ criticizes the notion of a description of reality which abstracts from human needs and interests.)
Rorty, R. (1991) Objectivity, Relativism and Truth, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
(Part II of this book tries to fit Davidson’s work into the pragmatist tradition by emphasizing his anti-representationalism.)
Saatkamp, H.J., Jr (1995) Rorty and the Pragmatists, Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.
(Includes five essays arguing that Rorty misreads and distorts both the classical pragmatists and Davidson, and Rorty’s replies.)
Scheffler, I. (1974) Four Pragmatists: A Critical Introduction to Peirce, James, Mead and Dewey, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
(Combines sympathetic presentation with detailed criticism.)
Sellars, W. (1953) ‘Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind’, in Science, Perception and Reality, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1956.
(Argues against the ‘Myth of the Given’ and for the claim that ‘all awareness is a linguistic affair’.)
Smith, J.E. (1984) Purpose and Thought: The Meaning of Pragmatism, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
(Emphasizes the classical pragmatists’ anti-atomistic conceptions of the nature of experience.)
Thayer, H.S. (1968) Meaning and Action: A Critical History of Pragmatism, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill.
(The most comprehensive history, containing material on C.I. Lewis, F.C.S. Schiller, G.H. Mead, and others, as well as on Peirce, James and Dewey.)
West, C. (1989) The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism, Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
(Puts pragmatism in the context of American intellectual life, with special reference to Emerson and to leftist politics.)
White, M.G. (1954) Towards Reunion in Philosophy, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
(Treats pragmatism as a corrective to logical positivism.)
Wittgenstein, L. (1953) Philosophical Investigations, Oxford: Blackwell.
(Argues for a therapeutic approach to traditional philosophical problems, and against the Cartesian notion of immediate self-awareness.)