John Dewey, Rhetoric, and Democratic Practice
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: University of South Carolina Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
Series Editor’s Preface
Introduction: John Dewey and the Rhetoric of Democratic Culture
Brian Jackson and Gregory Clark
Every once in a while, long-dead and oft-forgotten philosophers rise from their graves and walk their way into public conversations. Take John Dewey, for instance. In the spring of 2010 a group of concerned parents in a school district not far from where we both live gathered to oppose what they thought was a socialist education...
Part I: Dewey and Democratic Practice—Science, Pragmatism, Religion
Dewey on Science, Deliberation, and the Sociology of Rhetoric
William Keith and Robert Danisch
John Dewey’s career-long exposition of and commitment to democratic culture still commands praise and admiration. Contemporary philosophers, social theorists, historians, and others committed to pragmatism still commend Dewey’s faith in the democratic experience. Richard Rorty, Cornel West, and Robert Westbrook, to...
John Dewey, Kenneth Burke, and the Role of Orientation in Rhetoric
Scott R. Stroud
As a practicing orator or rhetorician, John Dewey seemed an abject failure. Regardless of the prescience of his ideas, his speaking ability was often dull and far from captivating. It transcended mere responses of apathy, as it was good-naturedly ribbed in the national forum of Time: “To his classes he lectured in a monotonous...
Minister of Democracy: John Dewey, Religious Rhetoric, and the Great Community
In October 1921 William Jennings Bryan launched an aggressive campaign against Darwinism—a campaign that would eventually lead him to the witness stand in the Scopes Trial (Larson 41–59). Delivering the James Sprunt Lectures at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, Bryan took aim at “a menace to fundamental morality.”...
Part II: Dewey and His Interlocutors—Thomas Jefferson, Jane Addams, W. E. B. Du Bois, Walter Lippmann, James Baldwin
Dewey on Jefferson: Reiterating Democratic Faith in Times of War
As rhetorical theorists, we often conflate the practice of rhetoric with its theorizing. It is one thing to ask how a particular writer practices rhetoric; it is another thing altogether to ask if that writer has a theory of rhetoric—if that author thinks self-reflexively enough about his or her rhetorical practice to articulate principles for...
John Dewey and Jane Addams Debate War
Louise W. Knight
In the introduction to this collection the editors observe that John Dewey’s work as a professional philosopher has served as “a well that rhetorical scholars draw from when they study rhetoric as the constitutive democratic practice.” More specifically, his theory that democracy is a way of life suggests that the performance of rhetoric...
John Dewey, W. E. B. Du Bois, and a Rhetoric of Education
John Dewey’s conception of democratic culture and of the attendant traits of fair play, dialogic deliberation, and social equality floated above his underlying sense of the productive possibilities of rhetoric. Of course rhetorical practice of some kind will obtain in any instance and help to instantiate any number of ends, some...
Walter Lippmann, the Indispensable Opposition
Every hero must have his antagonist, and for John Dewey, theorist of democratic communication, that role has long been played by Walter Lippmann of the Lippmann-Dewey debate. Pessimistic, where Dewey was optimistic; concerned to remove decision-making from a feeble public to a technocratic elite, where Dewey...
“‘All safety is an illusion”: John Dewey, James Baldwin, and the Democratic Practice of Public Critique
At the beginning of the bicentennial year 1976, though his cultural stardom had cooled, James Baldwin still practiced an intense, daring public intellectualism. In a Los Angeles Times op-ed entitled “A Challenge to Bicentennial Candidates,” Baldwin urges the potential Republican and Democratic candidates to face the nation’s...
Part III: Dewey as Teacher of Rhetoric
Rhetoric and Dewey’s Experimental Pedagogy
In John Dewey’s reading of Greek history, the Greek Sophists emerge as the first practitioners of democratic experimental pedagogy. Referring to them as “the first body of professional educators in Europe,” he treats the Sophists as “symptoms of the change from the regime of custom to the regime of analysis and reflective...
The Art of the Inartistic, in Publics Digital or Otherwise
Brian Jackson, Meridith Reed, and Jeff Swift
As we write this essay, the various digital publics are buzzing over a birth certificate. On April 27, 2011, in response to continual accusations that he was born in Kenya rather than Hawaii, President Barack Obama posted his “long-form birth certificate,” a tout le monde, on the White House’s official Web site (“President Obama’s”)....
Dewey’s Progressive Pedagogy for Rhetorical Instruction: Teaching Argument in a Nonfoundational Framework
Donald C. Jones
I first read Experience and Education while I was an undergraduate student, and I found that Dewey explained many of the frustrations I had felt back in high school. I was one of those students who loved to read, but I was completely turned off, for instance, when I was told that we would be reading Shakespeare because he had...
Afterword: The Possibilities for Dewey amid the Angst of Paradigm Change
Gerard A. Hauser
In his lectures on biopolitics, Foucault discusses the advent of new problems confronting the state, beginning with the rise of industrialization in the seventeenth century and the accompanying mass migration of populations into urban centers. Hoards of people living in close proximity, no longer sustaining themselves through...