Human Landscapes

Contributions to a Pragmatist Anthropology

By Roberta Dreon

Subjects: Philosophy, Pragmatism, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology
Series: SUNY series in American Philosophy and Cultural Thought
Hardcover : 9781438488219, 274 pages, April 2022
Paperback : 9781438488226, 274 pages, October 2022

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Table of contents


1. Introduction: A Pragmatist Approach to Human Nature

2. Looking at Human Sensibility through a Pragmatist Lens

3. Pragmatist Contributions to a Theory of Emotions

4. Humans Are Bundles of Habits

5. Human Experience as Enlanguaged Experience

6. Exploring the Continuity between Sensibility and Language

Conclusion: A Pragmatic/Pragmatist Balance


The first work to offer a comprehensive pragmatist anthropology focusing on sensibility, habits, and human experience as contingently yet irreversibly enlanguaged.


Human Landscapes works out a pragmatist anthropology which the Classical Pragmatists never put together in a comprehensive form—despite the many insights on the topic to be found in Dewey's, James's, and Mead's texts. Roberta Dreon retrieves and develops this material in its astonishing modernity concerning current debates on the mind as embodied and enacted, philosophy of the emotions, social theory, and studies about the origins of human language. By assuming a basic continuity between natural developments and human culture, this text highlights the qualitative, pre-personal, habitual features of human experience constituting the background to rational decision-making, normativity, and reflection. The book rests on three pillars: a reconceptualization of sensibility as a function of life, rather than as a primarily cognitive faculty; a focus on habits, understood as pervasive features of human behaviors acquired by attuning to the social environment; and an interpretation of human experience as "enlanguaged," namely as contingently yet irreversibly embedded in a linguistic environment that has important loop effects on human sensibility and habitual conduct.

Roberta Dreon is Associate Professor of Aesthetics at Ca' Foscari University in Italy.


"…Roberta Dreon's book is well written and shines with the clarity of exposition. A rare balance has been found between precision in the historical reconstruction of the most important authors in the history of pragmatism and the originality of the philosophical proposal. However, not only is it an important contribution to the philosophy of anthropology—a much-needed work that approaches this discipline from an original pragmatist approach—but it is also a book rich in important insights for contemporary aesthetics." — British Journal of Aesthetics

"Human Landscapes offers a novel pragmatist version of philosophical anthropology that has much to say about contemporary issues, including issues pertaining to embodied-enactive philosophy." — Shaun Gallagher, University of Memphis

"Stylistic fluency and both theoretical and historiographical thoroughness make this book quite important for the advancement of the current debate on human sensibility. The pragmatist point of view intersects with cognitive psychology and neuroscience, offering the map of a new philosophical anthropology that escapes inveterate dichotomies such as those of objective-subjective, natural-cultural, qualitative-quantitative, and cognitive-affective." — Rosa Calcaterra, Roma Tre University