Jeff Carrera’s Philosophy is Not a Luxury has been posting some pithy articulations of the process-relational philosophies of James, Dewey, Peirce, and others in the American pragmatist tradition. It’s too bad that the word “pragmatism” in its everyday sense doesn’t do justice to these thinkers — rather like the terms “stoicism” and “epicureanism” don’t do justice to the philosophies of Seneca, Epicurus, Epictetus, Lucretius, Marcus Aurelius, et al. As Pierre Hadot pointed out years ago, philosophy was a way of life for the ancients. The pragmatists came as close as any American philosophers to continuing that tradition. To anyone familiar with Whitehead, Bergson, or Deleuze, the resonances with these descriptions of experience should be obvious. Theirs is a philosophy of the present moment, but when the present moment, in its radical openness, is all there is, that’s the best (and only) place to start.

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