Introduction: The Growth of Feminist Pragmatism: Opening Channels for Cooperative Intelligence

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“The Growth of Feminist Pragmatism: Opening Channels for Cooperative Intelligence” tells of four academic conferences. One of the tenets of pragmatist philosophy is that a person’s intellectual growth is fostered through collaborative engagement with others. These four conferences confirm that observation. Charlene Haddock Seigfried’s initial work of identifying feminist pragmatists from pragmatism’s founding era has now grown into a much larger project of international scope. The first conference discussed in this essay, titled “Exploring Jane Addams,” was hosted at the University of Dayton (Ohio, USA) in November 2002. Its interdisciplinary scope matched the wide range of Addams’s thoughts and activism. A second conference, “Feminist Pragmatism in Place,” was held in October 2012, also hosted by the University of Dayton. Speakers drew on pragmatism’s emphasis on social and historical context to explore the significance of location for feminist reflection. A third conference, “Looking Back to Move Forward,” held in November 2019 at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York (USA), drew deeply on Rochester’s history of social justice activism on behalf of marginalized groups, including women, Native Americans, and African-Americans. Finally, the essay discusses the first “Women in Pragmatism: International Conference” held in Europe, at the University of Barcelona in January 2020. The conference was truly international in its scientific and organizing committees, and in its program with speakers from ten countries. The essay concludes with reflections on the potential for growth as well as challenges for feminist pragmatism.




Part of the Women in the History of Philosophy and Sciences book series (WHPS, Volume 14)

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