Northwest American Philosophy Reading Group 2013

Annual Meeting, May 11, 2013

(aka the 'Coast Pragmatism Reading Group')

Topic: Pragmatism in the Americas

Date and Location: Saturday, May 11, 9:30-5:00 with lunch and dinner, Adobe Resort, Yachats, OR. Participants may arrange housing at any of the local hotels or vacation rentals. See Go Yachats for additional information.

Description: Philosophy in the Americas is a product of the long intersection between diverse European and indigenous American ways of thinking. One element of that tradition is pragmatism. In 2011, Gregory Pappas edited Pragmatism in the Americas, a collection that sought to introduce “philosophical bridges … between philosophy done in the Hispanic world and philosophy done in North America.” There is, he claimed, “no deep rift between these two philosophical traditions.”

The spring meeting of the Northwest American Philosophy reading group will consider the intersection between pragmatism and Latin American thought through five papers. Two papers, by José Medina and José-Antonio Orosco consider pragmatism in relation to aspects of Latin American thought and were included in Pragmatism in the Americas. The third paper, by Ofelia Schutte, challenges the character of the developing Latin American tradition from a feminist perspective and proposes a set of commitments that are both consistent with pragmatism and help to ground a feminist Latin American philosophy. The fourth paper, by Alexander Stehn, proposes a framework for inter-American philosophical dialogue and debate beginning with the work of Enrique Dussel and John Dewey. Pappas’s take on the intersection of the traditions, 'The Latino Character of American Pragmatism', will serve as a background reading. Pappas concludes: “Understanding pragmatism in and through the Hispanic world can undermine the notion that the United States has intellectual borders that cannot be crossed, or that it has epistemic privilege over its own historical creations. Today, pragmatism, like jazz, is North American only in its origin.”

Texts for Discussion:

For more information on housing, please contact Scott Pratt (University of Oregon, For other questions contact Erin McKenna (Pacific Lutheran University, If you know that you plan to join us, please let Erin or Scott know so they can plan the food.

The Pacific Northwest Reading Group is co-sponsored by the University of Oregon Department of Philosophy and the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy.