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Pragmatism is an important contribution to philosophy, with its roots in the work of three American thinkers of the late 19th/early 20th century: C.S. Peirce, William James and John Dewey. Set against the long history of western philosophy, this makes it a relatively recent phenomenon, although like most things that seem new in philosophy, it has many continuities with what went before. Recent it may be, but it already constitutes a kind of tradition, with competing camps, radicals, apostates and reformers. Two leading contemporary figures in that tradition are Richard Rorty and Hilary Putnam, philosophers who, as we shall see, … Continue reading