The following is a transcript of a discussion about the question ‘What is Pragmatism?’ between Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam, and James Conant. The discussion was part of a series of discussions on more or less philosophical subjects broadcast on Chicago Public Radio. This discussion is anchored by Gretchen Helfrich. Two listeners (Chris and Edwin) also took part.
I thank the participants for making the material available for a wider audience. I have deleted some passages in order to fit the space available for this subject (a nearly complete version appears in the next volume of The Wittgenstein Studies). I have tried to keep the character of a discussion. However, a transcript can hardly display the fine nuances of spoken words—and there are indeed some such nice nuances. However, the most important points were, of course, kept. How to think about them — that is up to the reader.
Richard Raatzsch, University of Leipzig, July 2004
Further note from Stephen Law: readers should be aware that this transcript has been edited. Some material — words, phrases, and passages — has been removed. Italicizations are my own.