Our Glassy Essence: The Fallible Self in Pragmatist Thought

Richard Menary*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Self
EditorsShaun Gallagher
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780191724848
ISBN (Print)9780199548019, 0199548013
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


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