requiem for certainty

Pragmatism and Social Science Methodology

with 5 comments

Headed to a Pragmatism and Social Sciences workshop today and am very much looking forward to it.  Questions of philosophy’s relationships and contributions to methodologies of ‘the human sciences’ have long been central for me, so am glad to have a chance to discuss this with others in a format crossing up the disciplines. Genealogy has long been a player in these debates, so it’s nice to see pragmatism (the other tradition I focus my work on), coming into play again here, in a serious and considered way.

Speaking of crossing up, the meeting is at Hopkins, so I get to see a little bit of Baltimore, which will be nice, because aside from a visit during a dreadful APA, I’ve never much been before. In my mind, Baltimore is practically synonymous with John Waters.


Written by Colin Koopman

October 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. Oh this sounds awesome–I’d like to hear any insights/new thoughts that you have coming out of this. I wish I could attend stuff like this.

    Nathan Pai Schmitt

    October 4, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    • How was it?

      Paul C Taylor

      October 10, 2012 at 11:17 am

      • Fantastic! I always find that I learn an immense amount in going to interdisciplinary settings like these. Certainly I have rewarding and interesting conversations with philosophers, but conversations with political scientists, anthropologists, and historians always seem to blow new vistas into view.

        Some of the good ground that was covered.
        – The role of affect and sentiment in politics and political education (and also the ‘reversibility’ of that, in the sense of its working both pro- and con-).
        – Questions of agency and structure, and how pragmatism can help us push pass the old but haunting dualisms of social theory — this is a point that of course many philosophers will say ‘but of course’ and yet the value in taking this into contact with the social sciences is that there is nothing ‘of course’ about it because implementing the pragmatist insight here requires a tremendous labor of work given that we lack good social scientific methods for explicating political practices along lines that don’t buy into such dualisms even if only implicitly.
        – The place of power, or lack thereof, in a pragmatist methodology.
        – And, of course, that favored chestnut of the workability of pragmatism and genealogy together.

        Oh, and yes! I did get to see the lovely and unassuming Baltimore home of John Waters.


        October 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm

        • have you looked into John Protevi’s work, he is starting to work on case studies in political affect and while largely works via Deleuze is amenable employing to pragmatisms:


          October 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm

          • yes indeed. very interesting. shusterman too (who will be coming to oregon this summer for a conference we are hosting).

            Colin Koopman

            October 23, 2012 at 7:43 pm

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