Pragmatists and Existentialists

The pragmatists' emphasis on human agency, even in realms of epistemology, melds pretty easily with the existentialists' emphasis -- thinking mostly of Camus here -- on individual moral choice. Both philosophies might at first appear to put all the emphasis on the individual, but that's not in fact true when one looks more closely. For the pragmatists, the world is built up from many individuals' experience; for the existentialists, individual moral choice must serve the general good: What we wish for ourselves we must wish for others, Camus tells us.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

1 thought on “Pragmatists and Existentialists”

  1. for Anthony Rudolf, poet translator editor, his 40th anniversary of Menard Press, London, England


    Unconscious music under the mountains’ trembling surface brings to birth musical mice:

    Bolero, Carmen, Saber Dance, Love Night/Death, Lt. Kije’s Dance, Rusalka, Greensleeves.

    Historical amnesia quiets the ground for crimes to come as teeter-tottering released restraint is

    seesawing along planes recalling and repeating earthly bodies and their so heavenly desires.

    Everything remains holographic being created from what has been destroyed for it sighing for what

    came first, mobius-styled, feeding-back the non-comprehending frail husk-like frame remaining.

    The phenomenal world’s solid: real one’s a dream.


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