CFP: Contemporary Pragmatism: Rules, Principles and Pragmatism

Contemporary Pragmatism is seeking submissions for a special issue on Rules, Principles, and Pragmatism
Guest edited by Nate Jackson (Capital University)

An upcoming issue of Contemporary Pragmatism will discuss the relationship between pragmatism and moral particularism. “Moral particularism” is an umbrella term, encompassing a collection of views that diminish the role of principles in moral deliberation, with more aggressive versions denying the truth and necessity of universal moral principles. Pragmatist ethics is uniquely situated with respect to burgeoning interest in moral particularism. Pragmatists traditionally share the reluctance of particularists to affirm universal moral principles. However, the degree to which pragmatists should adopt or resist the label of particularism is unclear. How might commitments to meliorism or democracy make use of or challenge particularist perspectives? Prompted by particularism’s minimizing the importance of rules in moral judgment, pragmatists should revisit our own account of, in Dewey’s words, “The Nature and Office of Principles.”

Recent years have seen increasing interest in both pragmatist ethics and in moral particularism, especially regarding the work of Jonathan Dancy, John McDowell, and Martha Nussbaum, among others. In spite of some strong affinities between the two bodies of literature, relatively little work has been done at the intersection of pragmatist ethics and particularism. The goal of this special issue is to inquire about the possibility of a pragmatist-informed particularism. Open to both historical and theoretical approaches, this volume is concerned to develop the possibilities as well as to articulate the limitations of moral particularism from pragmatist perspectives. Possible topics include but are not limited to: Pragmatism and varieties of particularism, the place of rules and principles in pragmatist ethics, moral imagination and moral competence, possibilities for reconciling democracy and particularism or particularist social ethics more broadly construed.

Papers should be between 6,000 and 9,000 words, though longer submissions will be considered. Submissions will be selected on the basis of a process of blind review and should be prepared accordingly.

Please submit two documents: (a) the paper prepared for blind review, including a title and a 120 word abstract, and (b) a separate page with the title, an abstract of 120 words, name, institutional affiliation and contact information.

DEADLINE: July 1, 2017