The Pluralist

Editor: Roger Ward


Current Volume: 19 (2024)
Issued three times per year (Spring, Summer, and Fall)
ISSN: 1930-7365
eISSN: 1944-6489


Official Journal of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy

The Pluralist is a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to advancing the ends of philosophical thought and dialogue in all widely used philosophical methodologies, including non-Western methods and those of traditional cultures. The journal upholds the Socratic dictum of self-knowledge and the love of wisdom as the purpose of philosophy. It seeks to express philosophical insights and concerns humanely and with an eye to literary as well as philosophical excellence, but technical papers are welcome. The Pluralist is a forum for discussion of diverse philosophical standpoints and pluralism's merits. The Pluralist considers high-quality submissions on any philosophical topic written from any philosophical perspective. Articles that defend some type of pluralism, apply a pluralistic perspective to contemporary issues, or take a critical stance against pluralism are encouraged.

The Pluralist is the official journal of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy. In addition to research articles, The Pluralist also includes highlights from the SAAP annual meeting, Presidential addresses, Founders' addresses, and other Society-related information.


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Call for Papers

Special Issue of The Pluralist Dedicated to Richard J. Bernstein:

Reconsidering Pragmatism as a Living Movement

The Pluralist is calling for papers for a special issue dedicated to philosopher Richard J. Bernstein. We envision this special issue to honor the life and legacy of Bernstein through a continuation of his philosophical spirit and unfinished work.

In Spring 2022, Bernstein taught American Pragmatism for the last time. In the year leading up to his final semester, Bernstein said something shifted for him in the way he understood pragmatism. He was planning on writing about this shift in his thinking in an essay he would sometimes refer to as “Bernstein on Bernstein” or “Pragmatism Reconsidered.” While he did not have the chance to write the essay he had envisioned, he did articulate his thoughts throughout that final semester.

He wanted to rethink three key distortions which he thought were obscuring more rich engagements with pragmatism.

First, he was concerned with the tendency towards essentialist definitions of pragmatism which invite the question of who really counts as a pragmatist. While of course there are important themes that have emerged (e.g. anti-foundationalism, fallibilism, a kind of systematic rejection of Cartesianism, the meaning and failures of democracy, etc.) Bernstein felt there were no core set of commitments that one could say “this is what a pragmatist is.”

The second distortion he was concerned with was a sort of canonization that followed from these essentialist definitions. In understanding the ways in which pragmatism developed, he felt it was important to remember that much of its richness was in fact due to the lack of disciplinary boundaries in American universities at that time, and ongoing conversations with activists and intellectuals outside of academia. In particular, he felt that the canonization of pragmatism excluded the role of women and Black thinkers, and that in these areas we had to rethink what pragmatism was about, who it included, and look toward a deeper understanding of not only their intellectual, but also their social and political interests.

Finally, he wanted to recall the critical element to pragmatism that he felt Dewey was so sensitive in defending. Dewey thought the Europeans had misinterpreted pragmatism as a glorification of America, rather than what he felt it was—a kind of ultimate critique of America, where critique is based on a kind of understanding.

To be clear, on Bernstein’s definition, reconsidering pragmatism is not a simple expansion of the canon or an exercise in who should or should not count as a pragmatist. Rather it is something different altogether—to see if we can understand pragmatism not as a cannon at all, but rather as a living, evolving movement. Reconsidering pragmatism should be understood as a renewed pragmatist commitment to challenging disciplinary boundaries, challenging our assumptions, continued learning, growth, and to keep trying to find and create new ways to move forward.

We invite those who are interested in reconsidering pragmatism along the lines that Bernstein envisioned / articulated to submit essays for consideration to be published in this special issue of The Pluralist. We are particularly looking for submissions that speak to one (or more) of the following lines of inquiry:

  • Historical essays, reconsidering entrenched narratives to bring in previously overlooked voices, movements, or thinkers from outside of philosophy or academia
  • Contemporary applications or uptake of pragmatic themes by socio-political movements
  • Reconsidering the philosophical implications of understanding pragmatism not as a cannon but as a living, evolving movement

We also welcome papers that engage directly with any of Bernstein’s works.

Submission Guidelines

Essays of 4,000-6,000 words are preferred, although longer papers will be considered. Please include an abstract of 250-300 words at the top of your submission.

Email to

Deadline: May 15, 2024


Roger Ward
Philosophy Department
Georgetown College
400 East College Street
30 Pawling Hall
Georgetown, KY 40324

Associate Editor
Sunny Heenen
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Book Review Editor
Aaron P. Shepherd
Department of Philosophy
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Lowell, MA 01854

Editorial Board

  • Douglas Anderson, University of North Texas
  • Richard Beauchamp, Christopher Newport University
  • Nancy Cartwright, University of California, San Diego and London School of Economics
  • John B. Cobb, Jr., Claremont Graduate University
  • Ralph D. Ellis, Clark Atlanta University
  • Nancy Frankenberry, Dartmouth College
  • Pete A. Y. Gunter, University of North Texas
  • Richard E. Hart, Bloomfield College
  • Hans Joas, University of Chicago & Universität Erfurt
  • Will Kymlicka, Queen’s University
  • John Lachs, Vanderbilt University
  • Lorraine Landry, Oklahoma State University
  • James McLachlan, Western Carolina University
  • Sandra D. Mitchell, University of Pittsburgh
  • Robert C. Neville, Boston University
  • Lucius Outlaw, Vanderbilt University
  • Richard Prust, St. Andrews Presbyterian College
  • Eric Reitan, Oklahoma State University
  • Nicholas Rescher, University of Pittsburgh
  • Michael Slote, University of Miami
  • Kenneth Stikkers, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • Mark Timmons, University of Arizona
  • Donald Philip Verene, Emory University

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The Pluralist

Submission of a manuscript to The Pluralist is understood to imply that the paper is original, it has not already been published in whole or in substantial part elsewhere, and is not currently under consideration by any other journal. Article lengths of 6,000 to 12,000 words are preferred, although longer papers will be considered. Discussion pieces, essay-length reviews, and book reviews may also be submitted. Before submitting a review, please contact Roger Ward, Editor.

A submission must omit self-identifying information to allow for double-blind review. An abstract of 100 words should be placed at the start of the paper. Citations should follow the MLA Handbook, 8th edition. No auto-formatting of notes should be used; all notes will be endnotes listed in numerical order at the end as part of the regular text. All text, including notes and extracted material (quotations, formulae), must be in 12-pt font and double-spaced. All pages must be numbered and have margins of at least one inch on all sides.

Photographs or illustrations should be numbered and sent as separate “supplementary files” in the online upload system, with the desired location clearly indicated in the main text. All photos and illustrations should be submitted as separate TIFF image files with image quality of at least 300 dpi. These should be accompanied by captions, credit lines, and secured permission(s) for reprint, and their desired location should be clearly indicated in the main text.

Articles should be submitted electronically to the Pluralist online manuscript submission system. This secure, personalized resource will allow you to track your manuscript through each step of the submission, review, and acceptance process. To begin, click below to set up your personal account and upload your submission. Your transmitted material will be reviewed as soon as possible.

Submit to The Pluralist

Articles accepted for publication will be adjusted by editors to conform to University of Illinois Press formatting and returned to authors for proofreading. Upon publication, authors receive one copy of that issue of The Pluralist.

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