The Neopragmatist Turn, published in Southwest Philosophy Review Vol. 19, no. 1 (January, 2003)
There is a general consensus that pragmatism’s twenty-year renaissance produced two readily identifiable versions. One is typically called “classical” pragmatism (or simply “pragmatism”), the other “neopragmatism” (which I will call “linguistic pragmatism”). This newer form of pragmatism may be assessed by answering three questions: How does linguistic pragmatism “update” classical pragmatism? Why does linguistic pragmatism reject “experience” as a useful philosophical notion? Why is linguistic pragmatism wrong about “experience”? I.e., why is experience indispensable to pragmatism? I argue that experience is methodologically inseparable from pragmatism, and linguistic pragmatism may neglect or extirpate experience only at the cost of rendering pragmatism overly theoretical, quarantined from practical action. Thus, linguistic pragmatism would revise pragmatism by eliminating the very features that explain the renewed and widespread enthusiasm for it.