The Metaphysical Club Mr. Menand talked about his book The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America, published by Farrar Straus & Giroux . The book is about four… read more

The Metaphysical Club Mr. Menand talked about his book The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America, published by Farrar Straus & Giroux . The book is about four philosophers, three of whom helped form the Metaphysical Club in 1872. He discusses the ideas that came from the informal group that impacted society’s way of thinking after the Civil War. The group started with William James, a psychologist, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who served in the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 years. Scientist Charles Sanders Peirce became the third member of the club, and John Dewey, a student of Peirce, later became involved. Mr. Menand says the club originated the idea of pragmatism, a philosophy that grew out of the Civil War and became popular from 1898 to 1920. Mr. Menand suggests that pragmatism is a desire to get rid of absolute convictions and to see beliefs as instruments to use to get what people want out of the world. He said that academic freedom and cultural pluralism are just two of their legacies, and they are linchpins of democracy in a non-ideological age. He took questions at the end of the program.

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  • Ann Harson Manager Barnes and Noble Booksellers->Community Relations
  • Louis Menand Professor City University of New York Graduate Center

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The Metaphysical Club

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Program ID:
164880-1
Category:
Public Affairs Event
Format:
Speech
Location:
New York, New York, United States
First Aired:
Jun 30, 2001 | 9:15pm EDT | C-SPAN 2
Last Aired:
Apr 14, 2002 | 5:02pm EDT | C-SPAN 2

Airing Details

  • Jun 30, 2001 | 9:15pm EDT | C-SPAN 2
  • Jul 08, 2001 | 6:42pm EDT | C-SPAN 2
  • Jul 28, 2001 | 2:31pm EDT | C-SPAN 2
  • Apr 14, 2002 | 6:59am EDT | C-SPAN 2
  • Apr 14, 2002 | 5:02pm EDT | C-SPAN 2
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