What is and what should pragmatic ethics be?

some remarks on recent scholarship

Juan Pablo Serra

The aim of this paper is twofold. First, it offers a summary compilation of the main achievements in recent scholarship on the issue of pragmatic ethics – underlining the lack of consensus, but also showing basic agreement about the key features of the ethical philosophy of pragmatism. Second, it focus on two strands of pragmatism: the one spearheaded by Charles S. Peirce, which stresses the importance of habits, and the tendency of things (including human beings) to become habit-governed as the key to the development of ‘concrete reasonableness,’ the ultimate end by which human action ought to be guided; and the one led by John Dewey, which stresses the importance of deliberative activity – a ‘dramatic rehearsal’ of the possible consequences of every course of action – and the central role of educational work in developing the ‘growth’ of human nature, in itself the highest ethical ideal – an ideal that manifests itself in the ‘reconstruction’ of a new and more democratic society.

Publication details

DOI: 10.4000/ejpap.905

Full citation:

Pablo Serra, J. (2010). What is and what should pragmatic ethics be?: some remarks on recent scholarship. European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 2 (2), pp. n/a.

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