The concept of philosophical pragmatism was the focus of the First European Pragmatism Conference in Rome, Sept. 19-20, 2012. Philosophy Associate Professor David Hildebrand, PhD, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, helped to organize the program, and he presented a paper entitled “Experience or Language? Choosing Pragmatism’s Central Motive” (pdf).
Hildebrand’s paper takes note of the fact that over the past 30 years, a new form of pragmatism, “neopragmatism,” has arisen. Unlike older pragmatisms (e.g. Peirce, James, or Dewey’s),
Hildebrand said, “the newer one makes ‘language’ central and excludes older emphases on ‘experience.’ The paper’s central goal is to examine the pluses and minuses of these two different ‘centers,’ language or experience, in order to spur further debate about the best course for pragmatism to take in the 21st century.”
Hildebrand said the conference represented, “One of the largest and most internationally diverse conferences on philosophical pragmatism, the event effectively launched a European-wide philosophical pragmatist association.”
The conference featured prominent scholars from universities and institutes around the world including Brazil, Colombia, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and the U.S.
Overall, this international collaboration was facilitated by the Nordic Pragmatist Network and Associazione Pragma of Italy.
Hildebrand’s travel expenses were supported by a CLAS Dissemination Grant Award and the CU Denver Philosophy Department.