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Philosophy Today

Volume 65, Issue 3, Summer 2021

Special Topic: Technology and Society

Lawrence Cahoone
Pages 747-765

The Pluralist Revolt
Forty Years Later

Post–World War Two philosophy in America has been divided into the mainstream of analytic philosophy and a family of nonanalytic schools of thought, for example, continental philosophy and American pragmatism. The current balance of power among these perspectives reflects an event that occurred forty years ago: the “Pluralist Revolt” at the 1979 APA Eastern Division Meetings. What follows is a progress report on the Revolt’s hopes. The tale has something to do with the recent history of philosophy, Richard Rorty, truth, and with the New York Christmas of 1979. It also has to do with recent politics. For while, as the Pluralists hoped, nonanalytic philosophy is today more prominent, and mainstream analytic philosophy more pluralist, than in the 1970s, political trends of recent decades have differently affected analytic and nonanalytic philosophers. The result may be a new version of what C. P. Snow called “The Two Cultures.”

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