Pragmatism and the Cultivation of Digital Democracies

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“Pragmatism and the Cultivation of Digital Democracies.” In Richard J. Bernstein and the Expansion of American Philosophy: Thinking the Plural, edited by Marcia Morgan and Megan Craig, 37–59. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2016.

As technology enables us to communicate with one another in unpredictable ways that allow for an unprecedented public exchange of diverse ideas, cultivating the philosophical habits of an engaged fallibilistic pluralism gains in urgency. Read More

Digital Dialogue 70: Thinking the Plural

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Richard Lee, Jr., Professor of Philosophy at DePaul University, joins Chris Long for episode 70 of the Digital Dialogue to talk about the teaching and philosophy of Richard Bernstein. Rick and I were students of Bernstein in the early 1990’s, and although we learned a lot of philosophical content from Dick, mostly what we learned was an open, engaged, and fallibilistic way of doing philosophy in dialogue.

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The Ethics of Philosophy in a Digital Age

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To honor the work of Richard J. Bernstein, a group of colleagues and former students will gather at Stony Brook University for a conference entitled, Thinking the Plural: Richard J. Bernstein’s Contribution to American Philosophy.

The papers from this conference are also being collected for a volume of the same name, edited by former students Marcia Morgan and Jonathan Pickle.

My contribution has the working title: The Ethics of Philosophy in a Digital Age: Peirce, Dewey, Bernstein and the Cultivation of Creative Digital Democracies. Drawing on Bernstein’s account of the ethos of pragmatism in his 1988 Presidential Address to the American Philosophical Association, the essay advocates for practices of digital communicative transaction rooted in the habits of an “engaged fallibilistic pluralism.”

Because these habits must be informed by digital practices, I’ve invited comment on an earlier draft of this paper here on this site, and received substantive feedback both in the comment section and via Twitter.

At Stony Brook, I will continue the process of drawing on a wider digital public to further develop the argument of the paper by live tweeting my talk and opening a space for ongoing conversation here on the blog.

Toward an Ethics of Philosophy in a Digital Age

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To honor the work of Richard Bernstein and specifically his influence as a teacher at the New School for Social Research, Marcia Morgan and Jonathan Pickle invited a group of his former students to write essays for a volume entitled The Philosophical Spirit of the New School: A Festschrift in Honor of Richard J. Bernstein. I am making a draft of my contribution available here for comment in an attempt to live out the argument I make in it about the ethics of philosophy as a practice of public communication.

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Digital Dialogue 40: Engaged Pluralism

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Vincent Colapietro, Liberal Arts Research Professor of Philosophy here at Penn State, joins me for episode 40 of the Digital Dialogue.

The depth and breadth of his scholarship can hardly be touched upon in any substantive way in such a brief introduction, although I will emphasize that his work focuses on American Philosophy, semiotics and Peirce, but he has published extensively on a wide diversity of issues, including psychoanalysis.

His most recent book, Fateful Shapes of Human Freedom: John William Miller and the Crises of Modernity was published by Vanderbilt University Press in 2003. I would be remiss if I did not mention an essay of his that has meant a lot to my own intellectual development, namely, Striving to Speak in a Human Voice: A Peircean Contribution to Metaphysical Discourse, which was his Presidential Address to the Metaphysical Society and was published by the Review of Metaphysics in 2004.

Vincent joins me today, however, to discuss a profile essay on Richard J. Bernstein he was asked to write for Profiles in the Theory of Communication. I thought this would be a great opportunity for us to talk as Dick Bernstein was a member of my dissertation committee and has had an important and ongoing influence on my intellectual development. I know Vincent and I share many of Bernstein’s central philosophical commitments.

Digital Dialogue 40: Vincent Colapietro on Richard Bernstein and Pluralism

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