20 de julio de 2018

One year Postdoc position History of Pragmatism Nantes and Le Mans U.

Url: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/324185

Research Project :Transferts transatlantiques du pragmatisme.Enquête sur des circulations conceptuelles transdisciplinaires contemporaines-----Transatlantic transfers of pragmatism. A Survey of Contemporary Transdisciplinary Conceptual Circulations

After a disappearance of more than half a century of the international academic agenda, we have witnessed, from the 1980s and until today, a rather dramatic revaluation of the "pragmatist" thinking in philosophy but also in very diverse fields: in history, in sociology, in anthropology, in Science and Technology Studies and cognitive sciences, etc. So, over the last thirty years, this conceptual register, most often labeled as "American", has been widely mobilized in Europe, where it has sometimes been presented as a way of thinking capable of initiating important epistemological innovations in the world. traditional intellectual frameworks, whether national or disciplinary.
By what means and according to what logic did these "pragmatist" conceptions circulate between the United States and Europe? Who helped to export and import them? In what contexts? For what purposes? How have these theoretical propositions been discussed, assimilated, appropriated or repudiated? And why were they put on the agenda of the European social sciences, especially in France and Germany? In order to answer these questions, this research project proposes to mobilize a certain number of recently established archives in the United States and Germany. Their examination must make it possible to deal with problems that the conceptual history postulates without being able to solve them, such as the central idea of ​​an "eclipse" of the current pragmatism between the years 1930 and 1980, coupled with that of a "resurgence "From pragmatism since this date: is there a conceptual hard core between the American pragmatism of the early 20th century and the" neo-pragmatism "promoted nearly seventy years later? In order to understand why and how "pragmatist" conceptions have circulated on both sides of the Atlantic in the contemporary period, it is necessary to have concrete entry points. According to the study of the texts and the references that they contain, one can make the hypothesis that an actor incarnates better than anyone the promotion of the "pragmatism" on the international scale from the years 1980 and until early 2000s; namely, the American philosopher Richard Rorty (1931-2007). Studying the intellectual and institutional trajectory as well as the international relations of this actor from his archives must make it possible to restore one of the main effective ways of these conceptual transmissions. On the other hand, in the same period, the German publisher Suhrkamp-Insel seems to have also been one of the main vectors of the importation into Europe of American concept productions presented as innovative which it has helped to translate and disseminate on a continental scale.
In this period, the philosophical agenda was reconfigured in the United States under the invocation, by some of its members, of a restoration of the national pragmatist tradition capable of replacing the "analytical philosophy" presented as a practice over-professionalized, technician and depoliticized university. According to its leaders, in the front ranks of Rorty, this "neo-pragmatism" was articulated around three radical lines of reform: 1) the restoration of a civic dimension of philosophical activity, 2) the opening of philosophy to other disciplines, 3) the reconstruction of a dialogue with "continental" philosophy by a "historicist" rereading of the principal authors of Western philosophy in the 20th century.
In direct response to these concerns and as a result of important transatlantic intellectual exchanges, the appropriations of the "pragmatist" referent multiplied in various national and disciplinary contexts. This survey proposes to analyze, through a focus on two different types of actors but both considered as determining (a US philosopher and a German publishing house), the performativity of the discourse promoting "pragmatism". Thus, one of the essential and paradoxical issues of this survey lies in the ability to understand the role of German-speaking and French-speaking actors in the transatlantic circulations of English-speaking pragmatist conceptions, in order then to question the nature of the conceptual shifts that have been operated since.
Work plan over 12 months:
Archives Research - France, United States, Germany.

The first three months of the postdoctoral contract will be devoted to research in French sources and in newly established archives, for example:
1) The Richard Rorty Papers. This fund dedicated to one of the main international actors in the promotion of transnational pragmatism in the 1970s to the early 2000s contains a large number of documents in English, German and also in French. have never been exploited, including the many epistolary exchanges of the American philosopher with his European interlocutors: his foreign university partners, publishers, translators but also detractors. This material promises to provide crucial new data to understand the circulation of pragmatist ideas between Europe and the United States in the contemporary period.
2) The fund of the German publisher Suhrkamp-Insel, and especially the collection of the STW pocket collection. Since the 1970s, this publishing house and its collections of philosophy and social sciences, has been one of the main vectors of the importation into Europe of American theoretical productions. The review of the archives will expose certain editorial logics on these contemporary conceptual circulations.
A publication and a workshop
The next nine months will be devoted to the analysis of these archives by confronting them with the existing literature. A number of interviews with European mediators of pragmatism in philosophy and social sciences (such as Hans Joas, Louis Quéré and Gérard Noiriel) may constitute another type of mobilizable sources. The results of this survey will be the subject of an article in a peer-reviewed journal, for example, in the journal Igitur  supported by the Caphi.

A workshop at the University of Le Mans on the import of pragmatism into philosophy and the human and social sciences in France. Intended to trigger the reflexive interest of researchers, this meeting  will aim to present the interventions of French-speaking researchers from various disciplinary backgrounds and will propose a historical and epistemological perspective by questioning the idea, often expressed, of a reconfiguration of social science practices through the promotion of pragmatism.