Pragmatism as a practice oriented and instrumental philosophical movement emerged in the late 19th and early twentieth century through the work of Charles Pierce, William James and John Dewey in the USA. Following a loss of currency in the fifties and sixties of the past century, pragmatism reemerged in it's neopragmatist form in the latter part of the 19th century through the work of particular philosphers, including perhaps principally with Richard Rorty, to reinvigorate discussion about the contribution of philosophy to many domains of human life. Most recently architecture and design have explored the potential relevance of (neo)pragmatism to the work of a generation of designers and architects looking for a socially responsible and aesthetic esprit that might explain their current work and inspiration. In this lecture I attempt to explain some of the foundational pragmatic concepts, their application in architecture and design, and the work that remains to fully explore the neopragmatist agenda for practice and theory in the 21st century.
Seminar, speech or other presentation
Paper presented at the Manchester Architecture Research Centre Lectures Series, Manchester, United Kingdom, 14 February 2011