Our glassy essence: the fallible self in pragmatist thought



Publication Details

Menary, R. A. (2011). Our glassy essence: the fallible self in pragmatist thought. In S. Gallagher (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Self (pp. 607-630). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

Additional Publication Information

ISBN: 9780199548019


This article examines the pragmatic conception of self. It describes the views of classical pragmatists Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead on the concept of self. It explains the pragmatic concept of self reinforces the agentive idea that what we do makes us who we are. It suggests that there is no pre-established certainty in the self and that it is marked by fallibility. It outlines the pragmatist assault on the Cartesian picture of the self and contrasts it with the fallible self of pragmatism.

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