Article

Pragmatism and the Given: C. I. Lewis, Quine, and Peirce

Christopher Hookway

in The Oxford Handbook of American Philosophy

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199219315
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199219315.003.0015

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Pragmatism and the Given: C. I. Lewis, Quine, and Peirce

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For most contemporary philosophers, the concept of the given is intimately connected with two philosophical positions: empiricism and epistemological foundationalism. Those who reject the given identify C. I. Lewis as a paradigm empiricist foundationalist. Such a reading of Lewis's work is almost certainly mistaken, but we should begin by identifying what this ‘standard reading’ of the given involves. Foundationalism is an account of the structure of justification. Many of our justified beliefs obtain their justification from the fact that they are inferred from, or dependent upon, other justified beliefs. Concerned to avoid a regression of justification, foundationalists hold that this is not the case for all of our beliefs.

Keywords: C. I. Lewis; pragmatism; contemporary philosophy; empiricism; epistemological foundationalism; justified beliefs

Article.  8432 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science

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