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The Practical TurnPragmatism in Britain in the Long Twentieth Century$
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Cheryl Misak and Huw Price

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266168

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266168.001.0001

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Epilogue: Ramsey’s Ubiquitous Pragmatism

Epilogue: Ramsey’s Ubiquitous Pragmatism

(p.149) 10 Epilogue: Ramsey’s Ubiquitous Pragmatism
The Practical Turn

Huw Price

British Academy

Ramsey’s late piece ‘General Propositions and Causality’ (GPC) begins with a discussion of the logical status of unrestricted generalizations—claims of the form ‘(x)F(x)’. Ramsey argues against his own earlier view that a sentence of this form should be treated as an infinite conjunction. However, as he puts it, ‘if it isn’t a conjunction, it isn’t a proposition at all’. He goes on to put causal judgements in the same non-propositional box, noting that what he has offered is a ‘psychological analysis’ of causal judgement, not a metaphysics of causation—the later, he thinks, turns out to be the wrong mode of inquiry in this case. In modern terms, what Ramsey has sketched is a pragmatist or expressivist view of causation. This chapter relates Ramsey to later manifestations of the same pragmatist move, in Cambridge and elsewhere, and discusses the question whether Ramsey himself does or should think that this pragmatism is a ‘global’ view, applicable to all our judgements.

Keywords:   Ramsey, Pragmatism, expressivism

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