Pragmatism in Transition: Contemporary Perspectives on C. I. Lewis

Pragmatism in Transition: Contemporary Perspectives on C. I. Lewis

Pragmatism in Transition: Contemporary Perspectives on C. I. Lewis
(Palgrave Macmillan)

Once relatively neglected in the pantheon of American philosophy, C. I. Lewis’s work is receiving renewed attention in both philosophical and historical circles. While there are excellent surveys and introductions to Lewis’s work, there have been few recent collections of critical commentary. The last edited collection of critical essays on Lewis was published during his lifetime, in 1968, and no volume of explanatory or critical essays on Lewis has subsequently appeared. Given the renewed interest in pragmatism and American philosophy in various intellectual circles, the time is right to supplement general overviews and historical discussions of Lewis and pragmatism with detailed critical examinations that explicate Lewis’s place in the history of American philosophy and the history of pragmatism, as well as show how Lewis’s work remains relevant for contemporary issues. We therefore aim to assemble a wide range of assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of Lewis’s contributions to metaphysics, epistemology, semantics, and ethics.

Possible Topics
- The substantial philosophical changes or continuities between Lewis’s two main works: Mind and the World Order and An Analysis of Knowledge and Valuation
- Questions surrounding whether a better appreciation of Lewis’s place in American philosophy subverts the “eclipse narrative” concerning American pragmatism
- Lewis’s relationship to idealism, logical positivism or pragmatism
- Critical examinations of historical and contemporary appropriations of Lewis’s foundationalism
- Whether “the given” in Lewis’s epistemology is susceptible to Wilfrid Sellars’s criticism of “the Myth of the Given” and related criticisms (e.g. those developed by Robert Brandom, John McDowell, etc.)
- Lewis’s place in the history of logic
- Lewis’s pragmatic a priori reconsidered in light of competing notions of the a priori in 20th century philosophy
- Lewis’s relation to various historical figures, e.g. Lewis as the American proponent of Kant, etc.

Confirmed Contributors
- James Conant
- Diana Heney
- Jacquelyn Kegley
- Peter Olen
- Sanford Shieh
- Kenneth Westphal

Submission deadline: March 18, 2016
Authors notification: April 22, 2016

Paper Guidelines
Submissions should not to exceed 8,000 words and should be emailed to one of the addresses below in .doc or .docx format.

For questions or submissions, please contact Pete Olen (peterolen [at] or Carl Sachs (csachs [at]

Call for Papers: March 18, 2016 (All day)
Oct 04, 2015, 12:21 by Mats Bergman
Last revised: 
Nov 26, 2015, 22:08 by Commens Admin