Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

F. C. S. Schiller and the Style of Pragmatic Humanism

Porrovecchio, Mark Joseph (2006) F. C. S. Schiller and the Style of Pragmatic Humanism. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (3MB) | Preview


This dissertation is a rhetorical biography of Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller (1864-1937), the foremost British proponent of pragmatism at the turn of the previous century. Beyond reconstructing the development and receptions of Schiller's thoughts, this dissertation brings the resources of rhetorical criticism to bear and focuses, in particular, on his style and its significance both in his own lifetime and afterward. While spending most of his career in England, Schiller came in his time to be one of the most widely discussed figures in what is often considered a distinctly American philosophical movement. This rhetorical biography analyzes, in chronological order, the most substantial and often contested arguments that Schiller engaged in so as to promote, first, Jamesian pragmatism and, secondly, his own pragmatic humanism. These arguments were meant to defend the principles of pragmatism and pragmatic humanism against the dominant strains of Idealism then current in both British and American philosophy. But they were also supported by reference to a wide range of topics: psychical research, formal logic, science, religion, and eugenics. This dissertation examines how Schiller's arguments exemplify the positive and negative aspects of the rhetorical category of style. More specifically, this rhetorical biography posits that Schiller's use of the stylistic figure repetition—the reiteration of key claims so as to emphasize their importance and to engage the pathos of the audience—helps to explain why Schiller is now a largely forgotten instigator of pragmatism, conceived herein as both a philosophical concept and a historical movement. This dissertation also demonstrates how traditional methods of rhetorical criticism, often focusing on the set text or oration, can be profitably extended by way of archival materials, public documents, and a focus on the range of arguments offered over the expanse of a subject's career.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Porrovecchio, Mark Josephmjp28@pitt.eduMJP28
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSimonson, Peter
Committee MemberLyne, John
Committee MemberKameen, Paul
Committee MemberZboray, Ronald
Date: 4 October 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 5 May 2006
Approval Date: 4 October 2006
Submission Date: 25 April 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Communication: Rhetoric and Communication
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: pragmatic humanism; rhetoric; pragmatism; rhetorical criticism; rhetorical biography
Other ID:, etd-04252006-001506
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:42
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:42


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item