“Critique and Reconstruction: Pragmatism, social science, and democracy” By Dr. Brendan Hogan

Pragmatism as a philosophical school has recently experienced an explosion of interest rivaling that which attended its earliest decades in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The consequences of pragmatism for political theory and social science are continuing to be articulated, no less than with respect to traditional metaphysical, epistemological, and logical questions. In this initial lecture of our series, I will aim to provide some of the general features of the original 'pragmatic turn' in philosophical thinking and draw out several of these consequences for understanding the role of the social sciences and political theory.

Brendan Hogan (The New School for Social Research, PhD) is Clinical Associate Professor in the Global Liberal Studies Program at New York University. He specializes in pragmatic philosophy, philosophy of social science and political philosophy. In particular, his work explores questions about the normative status of democracy and the relationship between imagination, critique, and human agency. His latest publications focus on the late pragmatist philosopher Hilary Putnam and the critique of the forms of economicrationality at the basis of certain models of mainstream economics. His articles have been published in a variety of venues including The Journal of Speculative Philosophy and the Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal. Since 2015 he has taught the history of political philosophy and a course on the critique of capitalism from a normative perspective for NYU at their campus in London.

The 'THURSDAY PUBLIC LECTURE' series runs in connection with the Doctoral School course Pragmatism for Social Scientists: Histories, Criticisms & Opportunities. During this series, guest speakers who will be leading seminar sessions in the Pragmatism course will be giving public lectures on their own work. The series is open to the public.

The lecture series and the Pragmatism course are sponsored by the Ghent University’s Doctoral School Program and the Department of Conflict and Development Studies. They are organized by Prof. Dr. Christopher Parker, Dr. Nida Alahmad, and Drs. Steven Schoofs.

For more information on the Doctoral School course, please visit the ugent website.