Pragmatism as Post-Postmodernism
Lessons from John Dewey
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: Fordham University Press
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments
For the most part, the essays in this volume were written with the aim of extending the reach of John Dewey’s insights into areas where they have so far had little or no recognition. The underlying claim is that his work still offers much that is fresh, and that when properly understood, it is capable of making important contributions...
Philosophy in America is enjoying a period of unprecedented pluralism. The gradual erosion of the hegemony of Anglo-American analytic philosophy that began in the late 1970s has created enlarged spaces for new interests, new ideas, and new debates. New research programs in French postmodernism, phenomenology, Frankfurt...
Part 1: Postmodernism
1. Classical Pragmatism: Waiting at the End of the Road
I take as my point of departure the now famous remark by Richard Rorty, that when certain of the postmodernists reach the end of the road they are traveling they will find Dewey there waiting for them.1 The precise text I have in mind is from the introduction to The Consequences of Pragmatism. It goes like this: ‘‘On my view...
2. Pragmatism, Postmodernism, and Global Citizenship
The founders of American Pragmatism proposed what they regarded as a radical alternative to the philosophical methods and doctrines of their predecessors and contemporaries.1 Although their central ideas have been understood and applied in some quarters, there remain other areas within which they have been neither...
3. Classical Pragmatism, Postmodernism, and Neopragmatism
For those who are interested in coming to grips with the problems and prospects of our increasingly technological culture, classical Pragmatism appears to offer significant advantages over some currently popular versions of neopragmatism.1 Whereas the experimentalist version of Pragmatism advanced by Dewey honored the distinct...
Part 2: Technology
4. Classical Pragmatism and Communicative Action: Jürgen Habermas
The Federal Republic of Germany is fortunate to have in Jürgen Habermas a deeply engaged public philosopher.1 Since the 1960s he has been a social critic of undisputed stature who has brought to numerous public debates a profound understanding of philosophy, its past and prospects, and of the human sciences in general. Some...
5. From Critical Theory to Pragmatism: Andrew Feenberg
Over the course of more than two decades, during which he has published an impressive number of books and essays, Andrew Feenberg has established himself as an important representative of a new generation of Critical Theorists.1 Consistently insightful and articulate, he has developed a trenchant critique of technological culture...
6. A Neo-Heideggerian Critique of Technology: Albert Borgmann
There is a great deal to admire in Albert Borgmann’s neo-Heideggerian critique of the ways in which contemporary men and women interact with technology.1 His suggestions about how such interactions can be improved are both serious in tone and richly suggestive. He encourages us to go beyond what he calls ‘‘the device...
7. Doing and Making in a Democracy: John Dewey
Advancing a claim once regarded as radical and still widely misunderstood, John Dewey argued that most of his philosophical predecessors, even those who had claimed the methods of science as their own, had been guilty of a failure to recognize the importance of technology.1 He suggested this was due in part to their prejudice...
Part 3: The Environment
8. Nature as Culture: John Dewey and Aldo Leopold
It is true that Dewey was at one time the leader of a school of Pragmatism known as ‘‘Instrumentalism,’’ but his Pragmatism was never the vulgar sort that valorizes bald expediency. Nor was his Instrumentalism the ‘‘straight-line’’ variety that works toward fixed goals, heedless of the collateral problems and opportunities that arise during...
9. Green Pragmatism: Reals without Realism, Ideals without Idealism
This essay builds on the material presented in the preceding chapter, in which I argued that the field naturalism of Aldo Leopold and the environmental naturalism of John Dewey have a great deal in common and that Dewey’s Pragmatism can broaden our understanding of Leopold’s life and legacy.1 In this chapter I shall discuss the...
Part 4: Classical Pragmatism
10. What Was Dewey’s Magic Number?
Abraham Kaplan once suggested that Dewey’s ‘‘magic number’’ was two. Unlike nihilists, whose magic number is zero, and also unlike monists, trinitarians, squares (whose magic number is four), pluralists (whose magic number is more than four), and radical pluralists (whose magic number is infinity), Kaplan thought that Dewey...
11. Cultivating a Common Faith: Dewey’s Religion
Born in 1859 in Burlington, Vermont, John Dewey was already seventy-five years old in 1934 when he published his lectures on religious experience under the title A Common Faith.1 Although this is Dewey’s only book-length treatment of the subject, it would be a mistake to conclude that he had demonstrated little interest in religion...
12. Beyond the Epistemology Industry: Dewey’s Theory of Inquiry
John Dewey did not develop a theory of knowledge in the usual sense of ‘‘epistemology,’’ but he did have a well-developed theory of inquiry.1 He was in fact highly critical of what he called ‘‘the epistemology industry’’ because of its tendency to treat knowledge as something separated from the contexts in which actual inquiry takes place...
13. The Homo Faber Debate in Dewey and Max Scheler
It would be difficult to find two contemporaneous philosophers whose style and temper appear less similar to one another than do those of John Dewey and Max Scheler.1 Dewey was a Protestant Yankee, Scheler was a German whose mother was a Jew and whose father was Catholic. Dewey’s style was calm and measured, Scheler’s was...
14. Productive Pragmatism: Habits as Artifacts in Peirce and Dewey
Critics of the classical Pragmatists seem never to have tired of accusing them of making action an end in itself.1 Bertrand Russell misread them in this way, accusing Dewey of subordinating knowledge to action. Russell charged Pragmatism with saying that ‘‘the only essential result of successful inquiry is successful action.’’2 He was...
Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2007
OCLC Number: 608449021
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