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Women, Culture, and DevelopmentA Study of Human Capabilities$
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Martha C. Nussbaum and Jonathan Glover

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198289647

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198289642.001.0001

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Pragmatism and Moral Objectivity

Pragmatism and Moral Objectivity

Chapter:
(p.199) Pragmatism and Moral Objectivity
Source:
Women, Culture, and Development
Author(s):

Hilary Putnam

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198289642.003.0008

Putnam engages with moral objectivity and the question of ethical truth in this paper, in which he combats the idea that there is no intellectual structure worth taking seriously to the arguments of American pragmatists such as Charles Peirce, William James, and John Dewey. As a countercurrent to contemporary analytic philosophy, Putnam interprets and builds on the work of Dewey so as to yield the conclusion that there can be a rational basis for adopting ethical positions and that democratic processes are necessary constituents of social rationality.

Keywords:   American pragmatism, John Dewey, William James, indispensability arguments, instrumental rationality, objectivity, Charles Peirce, practice, truth

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