CFP: “Wittgenstein and Pragmatism: a Reassessment” (deadline May 1, 2012)

Call for Papers

European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy, 2012, vol. IV, issue 2

Symposia: “Wittgenstein and Pragmatism: a Reassessment”

Guest editors: Christiane Chauviré (Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne), Sabine Plaud (University of Strasbourg)

The connections between Wittgenstein’s philosophy and the pragmatist tradition are often alluded to, but seldom thoroughly explored. It is an established fact that Wittgenstein was scarcely acquainted with such authors as Charles Sanders Peirce or John Dewey, even though he had a rather extended knowledge of the philosophy of William James. Nevertheless, the converging features between Wittgenstein and pragmatism are quite striking: we shall hardly need to mention Wittgenstein’s claim that meaning is use, his insistence on the pictorial dimension of mathematical proof, or again his emphasis on action in his characterization of will and intention. On the other hand, modern and contemporary pragmatist philosophers (R. B. Brandom, H. Putnam…) have often developed a complex and intricate relationship to Wittgenstein’s philosophy, since they sometimes use it as a support to their own arguments, but sometimes also point at its insufficiencies, and try to amend them. Hence the following questions: in what sense may Wittgenstein’s philosophy be described as “pragmatist”? Symmetrically, in what sense may contemporary pragmatist philosophy be described as “Wittgensteinian”? What are the incompatibilities, if any, between these two traditions? Lastly, what part has been played by such “middlemen” as C. K. Ogden or F. P. Ramsey in the interactions between Wittgenstein and pragmatism? Answering these questions should provide an opportunity to explore the dialogues and/or misunderstandings between a European or continental tradition in philosophy, and a more specifically American analysis of the notions of meaning, reasoning, action, etc. This special issue of EJPAP will welcome historical or even “philological” approaches, as well as more analytic ways of dealing with these debates.

Papers should be sent to Sabine Plaud ( before May 1st 2012. Papers should not exceed 10,000 words 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 blind review. Acceptance of papers will be notified before July 1st, 2012.

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