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XIV-2, 2022 – Pragmatism and Phenomenology. A Metaphilosophical Reconsideration

Edited by Jason Bell and Danilo Manca

The history of the encounter between pragmatism and phenomenology is long, fruitful, yet also tormented. From the time of the 19th century American phenomenology of Josiah Royce to the arrival of Husserl’s phenomenology in North America, pragmatism was always one of the leading American philosophical movements that actively contributed to the re-elaboration of the issues and strategies of phenomenology to make them comply and adjust to the new context.

Nowadays, in virtue of both a more accurate attention to the history of pragmatism and a growing interest in theoretical issues, pragmatism and phenomenology are regarded as two revolutionary perspectives able to address the most debated problems of philosophy. With both their exchanges and conflicts, pragmatism and phenomenology can now cooperate and shape together new approaches.

A clear example of this new attitude is represented by the many discussions on the problem of enactive cognition which in some of their versions combine traditional pragmatism (e.g., Peirce, Dewey, late Wittgenstein) with the phenomenology of embodiment to better address issues such as the mind-body problem, the interaction between body and its environment, and the relation between perception and action.

Nevertheless, phenomenology and its representatives (in particular Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre) are often called into question from the perspective of Sellars and his pragmatic legacy. The so-called Pittsburgh School is by far one of the most interesting outcomes of the encounter between the Post-Kantian tradition and American naturalism and pragmatism. The intertwinement of pragmatism and phenomenology is recognized as fruitful by many studies bearing on the conception of the world, language, and second nature, as well as by the constantly growing debate between conceptualism and non-conceptualism.

In line with this, the 2022/2 issue of the European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy proposes a metaphilosophical approach.

The goal is to ask to what extent the encounter of pragmatism and phenomenology can offer the opportunity to reflect upon the genesis and nature, limits and the potentialities of philosophical inquiry, with a special focus on the problem as to how mind and world, science and common sense, nature and culture stay together.

Author are encouraged to submit papers on topics such as (but not limited to) the relationship between action and perception, social practices and epistemology, analysis of ordinary language and the problem of the language of philosophy, pragmatic and phenomenological approaches to the debate on naturalism, on conceptualism and non-conceptualism, and on “4E” theory of cognition.

Papers should be sent to Danilo Manca (danilo.manca@unipi.it) by 30 April 2022. Prepared for a process of blind review, they should not exceed 8,000 words and must include an abstract of approximately 200 words and a list of references. The selected papers will be published in October 2022.

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