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The Drama of Possibility Cover

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The Drama of Possibility

Experience as Philosophy of Culture

John McDermott

This book traces the trajectory of John J. McDermott's philosophical career through a selection of his essays. Many were originally occasional pieces and address specific issues in American thought and culture. Together they constitute a mosaic of McDermott's philosophy, showing its roots in an American conception of experience. Though he draws heavily on the thought of William James and the pragmatists, McDermott has his own unique perspective on philosophy and American life. He presents this to the reader in exquisitely crafted prose. Drawing inspiration from American history, from existentialist themes, and from personal experiences, he offers a dramatic consideration of our culture's failures and successes.McDermott crosses disciplinary boundaries to draw on whatever works to help make sense of theissues with which he is dealing-issues rooted in medical practice, political events, pedagogical habits, and the worlds of the arts. His work thus resists simple categorization. It is precisely this that makes his vibrant prose appealing to so many both inside and outside the world of American philosophy.

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Education and Culture

Vol. 22 (2006) through current issue

Education and Culture, an international peer reviewed journal published twice yearly by Purdue University Press, takes an integrated view of philosophical, historical, and sociological issues in education. Included are articles of Dewey scholarship, as well as work inspired by Dewey’s many interests.

The Future of Just War Cover

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The Future of Just War

New Critical Essays

Caron E. Gentry

Just War scholarship has adapted to contemporary crises and situations. But its adaptation has spurned debate and conversation—a method and means of pushing its thinking forward. Now the Just War tradition risks becoming marginalized. This concern may seem out of place as Just War literature is proliferating, yet this literature remains welded to traditional conceptualizations of Just War. Caron E. Gentry and Amy E. Eckert argue that the tradition needs to be updated to deal with substate actors within the realm of legitimate authority, private military companies, and the questionable moral difference between the use of conventional and nuclear weapons. Additionally, as recent policy makers and scholars have tried to make the Just War criteria legalistic, they have weakened the tradition’s ability to draw from and adjust to its contemporaneous setting.

The essays in The Future of Just War seek to reorient the tradition around its core concerns of preventing the unjust use of force by states and limiting the harm inflicted on vulnerable populations such as civilian noncombatants. The pursuit of these challenges involves both a reclaiming of traditional Just War principles from those who would push it toward greater permissiveness with respect to war, as well as the application of Just War principles to emerging issues, such as the growing use of robotics in war or the privatization of force. These essays share a commitment to the idea that the tradition is more about a rigorous application of Just War principles than the satisfaction of a checklist of criteria to be met before waging “just” war in the service of national interest.

Genealogy as Critique Cover

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Genealogy as Critique

Foucault and the Problems of Modernity

Colin Koopman

Viewing Foucault in the light of work by Continental and American philosophers, most notably Nietzsche, Habermas, Deleuze, Richard Rorty, Bernard Williams, and Ian Hacking, Genealogy as Critique shows that philosophical genealogy involves not only the critique of modernity but also its transformation. Colin Koopman engages genealogy as a philosophical tradition and a method for understanding the complex histories of our present social and cultural conditions. He explains how our understanding of Foucault can benefit from productive dialogue with philosophical allies to push Foucaultian genealogy a step further and elaborate a means of addressing our most intractable contemporary problems.

Habits of Whiteness Cover

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Habits of Whiteness

A Pragmatist Reconstruction

Terrance MacMullan

Habits of Whiteness offers a new way to talk about race and racism by focusing on racial habits and how to change them. According to Terrance MacMullan, the concept of racial whiteness has undermined attempts to create a truly democratic society in the United States. By getting to the core of the racism that lives on in unrecognized habits, MacMullan argues clearly and charitably for white folk to recognize the distance between their color-blind ideals and their actual behavior. Revitalizing the work of W. E. B. Du Bois and John Dewey, MacMullan shows how it is possible to reconstruct racial habits and close the gap between people. This forthright and persuasive analysis of the impulses of whiteness ultimately reorganizes them into something more compatible with our country's increasingly multicultural heritage.

Higher Education in the Making Cover

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Higher Education in the Making

Pragmatism, Whitehead, and the Canon

George Allan argues that the so-called “culture wars” in higher education are the result of the dogmatic and unyielding certainty that both canonists and anti-canonists bring to any discussion of how best to organize an undergraduate curriculum. He then proposes a middle way. Drawing from William James, John Dewey, and Alfred North Whitehead, he contrasts the absolutist claims of both canonists and anti-canonists with a fallibilist approach and argues for a more pragmatic canon that is normative and always in need of renovation. A wide variety of voices are heard in Allan’s conversation about the nature and meaning of an education canon, including philosophers Aristotle, Descartes, Arthur Lovejoy, Hannah Arendt, Spengler, Emerson, Lyotard, and Rorty. Contemporary voices include Eva Brann, Charles Anderson, Francis Oakley, Martha Nussbaum, Gerald Graff, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Bill Readings.

John Dewey and Continental Philosophy Cover

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John Dewey and Continental Philosophy

Edited by Paul Fairfield

This volume comprises thirteen original essays by prominent scholars, all of which bring the philosophy of John Dewey into conversation with several currents in continental European thought, including Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Gadamer, Foucault, Derrida, and Deleuze.

John Dewey and Environmental Philosophy Cover

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John Dewey and Environmental Philosophy

Hugh P. McDonald’s John Dewey and Environmental Philosophy breaks new ground by applying Dewey’s insights to a new approach to philosophy of the environment; the concern for the rights of animals; the preservation of rare species, habitats, and landscapes; and the health of the whole ecology. The book summarizes much of the current literature on environmental ethics, concentrating on the writings of major figures in the movement: Tom Regan, J. Baird Callicott, Holmes Rolston, and Bryan Norton. The heart of the book consists of a detailed analysis of Dewey’s ethics, his theory of intrinsic value, and his holistic approach to moral justification. Arguing against the idea that Dewey’s philosophy is anthropocentric, McDonald makes a strong case that using Dewey’s philosophy will result in a superior framework for environmental ethics.

John Dewey and Moral Imagination Cover

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John Dewey and Moral Imagination

Pragmatism in Ethics

Steven Fesmire

While examining the important role of imagination in making moral judgments, John Dewey and Moral Imagination focuses new attention on the relationship between American pragmatism and ethics. Steven Fesmire takes up threads of Dewey's thought that have been largely unexplored and elaborates pragmatism's distinctive contribution to understandings of moral experience, inquiry, and judgment. Building on two Deweyan notions -- that moral character, belief, and reasoning are part of a social and historical context and that moral deliberation is an imaginative, dramatic rehearsal of possibilities -- Fesmire shows that moral imagination can be conceived as a process of aesthetic perception and artistic creativity. Fesmire's original readings of Dewey shed new light on the imaginative process, human emotional make-up and expression, and the nature of moral judgment. This original book presents a robust and distinctly pragmatic approach to ethics, politics, moral education, and moral conduct.

John Dewey and the Artful Life Cover

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John Dewey and the Artful Life

Pragmatism, Aesthetics, and Morality

By Scott Stroud

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