David L. Hildebrand, Ph.D., Philosophy

Article Was Kenneth Burke a Pragmatist?

"Was Kenneth Burke a Pragmatist?" Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society (Summer 1995)  At present, Kenneth Burke is primarily known as a critic of literature and rhetoric, not as a philosopher. Important affinities between Burke's views and the epistemological and metaphysical doctrines of Classical Pragmatists (e.g., Dewey and Peirce) call for a philosophical reappraisal of Burke. Part one sketches significant areas of agreement between Burke and Pragmatism, while part two details several crucial differences. I conclude that Burke is most "Pragmatic" in his early writings; his later writings on "logology" (which systematize his views on the structure of language) depart from Pragmatism's traditional emphases upon method and situation-based analysis.


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