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Seminar 2012

Peirce, James, and the Origins of Pragmatism

Organizers: John J. Stuhr and Vincent Colapietro (Penn State University)
Location: Emory University, 214 Bowden Hall

The Emory University Institute for the History of Philosophy (IHP) will host its fifth annual summer workshop on June 4-14, 2012, on the topic of “Peirce, James, and the Origins of Pragmatism.”

IHP Summer Workshops are designed to bring together a group of faculty scholars specializing in specific areas of the history of philosophy for seminar style workshop sessions focused around a shared reading list. Ten participants and the co-directors meet in mornings and afternoons over the course of two four-day weeks for directed discussions and participant led close readings. The workshop format eschews the delivery of conference-style papers in favor of a more open and group-based engagement with the texts at hand. In so doing, the IHP seeks to foster conversations that will inform future scholarly work within the greater philosophical community. The IHP’s past workshops have focused on Vico and the Humanist Tradition, the Origins of Modernity, Nietzsche and Heidegger on the issue of history, and religion and philosophy in Neoplatonism.

This year’s readings will draw on seminal writings by Charles S. Peirce and William James.  The focus will be on Peirce’s pragmaticism, semiotics, and logic, and on James’s pragmatism, psychology, and ethics.  The goal will be to situate pragmatism within the history of philosophy, to understand the similarities and differences between Peirce and James, to grasp connections among issues in epistemology and ethics, and to assess the contemporary importance of pragmatic philosophy as it draws on Peirce, James, or both.  The workshop will use critical edition texts by both Peirce and James.

The Institute is pleased to provide room, board, and travel expenses for all participants accepted into the workshop. Guests will be housed near Emory’s campus center, within easy walking distance to the central meeting location in the Philosophy department. A number of optional dinner excursions into various neighborhoods of Atlanta are also planned.

To apply, scholars should send a cover letter addressing the relevance of Peirce, James, and pragmatism for their current and/or future scholarly work, and a  CV to Professor Stuhr at the address below (by electronic or physical mail.  The application deadline is 13 January 2012 with decisions announced 1 February 2012.

For additional information concerning this and upcoming IHP events, please visit the IHP website at

Co-Directors 2012:

John J. Stuhr
Department of Philosophy
214 Bowden Hall
561 South Kilgo Circle
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322 USA

Vincent M. Colapietro
Department of Philosophy
240 Sparks Building
Penn State University
State College, PA 16802


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