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Pragmatism | Key Figures

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Key Figure Description
John Dewey John Dewey (1859–1952) was one of the three primary philosophers of the American pragmatist movement. Read More
Charles Sanders Peirce Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914) was credited with coining the term pragmatism and founding the movement. Read More
Giovanni Papini Giovanni Papini (1881–1956) was an Italian pragmatist who enthusiastically embraced the ideas of William James. Read More
Ferdinand C.S. Schiller Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller (1864–1937) was an English philosopher who embraced pragmatism. Read More
Aristotle Aristotle (384–322 BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher and one of the most important figures in Western intellectual history. William James calls him an early pragmatist.
George Berkeley George Berkeley (1685–1753) was an English empiricist philosopher who challenged Locke's ideas about primary and secondary qualities. James commends him for contributing to pragmatic thinking.
Charles Darwin Charles Darwin (1809–82) was the British biologist who formulated the theory of evolution based on natural selection and whose ideas indirectly but strongly influenced the thinking of William James.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) was the originator of absolute idealism. This was a monist philosophy, one positing there is one ultimate reality, to which William James is opposed.
David Hume David Hume (1711–76) was the most important of the British empiricists. William James commends him for contributing to pragmatic thinking.
Immanuel Kant German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) was the originator of transcendental idealism who sought to reconcile rationalism and empiricism. James faults him for his impracticality.
John Locke John Locke (1632–1704) was an early English empiricist philosopher whom James commends for contributing to pragmatic thinking.
George Edward Moore George Edward Moore (1873–1958) was a British analytic philosopher and contemporary of William James who delivered a devastating critique of James's pragmatic notion of truth.
Josiah Royce Josiah Royce (1855–1916) was an American idealist philosopher whom William James identifies as a pantheist and monist.
Socrates Socrates (c. 469–399 BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher and one of the most important figures in Western intellectual history. William James calls him an early pragmatist.
Herbert Spencer Herbert Spencer (1820–1903) was an English philosopher whom William James faulted for a number of his ideas.
Swami Vivekananda Swami Vivekananda (1863–1902), an Indian monk and philosopher who brought the teachings of Vedanta to the West, is identified by James as a chief exponent of monism.
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