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Many contemporary constructivists are particularly attuned to Dewey's penetrating criticism of traditional epistemology, which offers rich alternatives for understanding processes of learning and education, knowledge and truth, and experience and culture. This book, the result of cooperation between the Center for Dewey Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and the Dewey Center at the University of Cologne, provides an excellent example of the international character of pragmatist studies against the backdrop of constructivist concerns. As a part of their exploration of the many points of contact between classical pragmatism and contemporary constructivism, its contributors turn their attention to theories of interaction and transaction, communication and culture, learning and education, community and democracy, theory and practice, and inquiry and methods.Part One is a basic survey of Dewey's pragmatism and its implications for contemporary constructivism. Part Two examines the implications of the connections between Deweyan pragmatism and contemporary constructivism. Part Three presents a lively exchange among the contributors, as they challenge one another and defend their positions and perspectives. As they seek common ground, they articulate concepts such as power, truth, relativism, inquiry, and democracy from pragmatist and interactive constructivist vantage points in ways that are designed to render the preceding essays even more accessible. This concluding discussion demonstrates both the enduring relevance of classical pragmatism and the challenge of its reconstruction from the perspective of the Cologne program of interactive constructivism.
Joseph Grange’s beautifully written book provides a unique synthesis of two major figures of world philosophy, John Dewey and Confucius, and points the way to a global philosophy based on American and Confucian values. Grange concentrates on the major themes of experience, felt intelligence, and culture to make the connections between these two giants of Western and Eastern thought. He explains why the Chinese called Dewey “A Second Confucius,” and deepens our understanding of Confucius’s concepts of the way (dao) of human excellence (ren). The important dimensions of American and Chinese cultural philosophy are welded into an argument that calls for the liberation of what is finest in both traditions. The work gives a new appreciation of fundamental issues facing Chinese and American relations and brings the opportunities and dangers of globalization into focus.
To Teach and to Learn
Combining biography with philosophy, this book explores John Dewey’s two-year trip to China (1919–1921) and its legacy for him as a teacher and a learner. Jessica Ching-Sze Wang looks at how Dewey was received in China, what he learned, and how he was changed as a result. She examines the intriguing dynamics shaping China’s reactions to Dewey and Dewey’s interpretations of China, and details the evolving process in which Dewey came to understand China on its own terms, rather than from Eurocentric perspectives. Tracing China’s influence on Dewey, Wang considers how his visit contributed to the subsequent development of his social and political philosophy. China provided a unique vantage point for Dewey to observe international politics, which led him to reconsider the meaning of internationalism. Also, his exposure to Chinese communal culture enabled him to reject the Western preoccupation with democracy in politics and to emphasize democracy as all-encompassing culture. Finally, Wang discusses how Dewey’s own observations and appraisals of Chinese society can give credence to the notion of Confucian democracy for China.
A New Democracy for the twenty-First Century
In this volume, eleven internationally recognized experts on John Dewey’s philosophy of education examine the reception of his ideas in Italy, Poland, the Slovak Republic, and Spain and provide their readers with a rich sense of Dewey's educational philosophy as a still largely untapped resource for the renewal of democratic institutions in our new century.
This new approach to Josiah Royce shows one of American philosophy's brightest minds in action for today's readers. Although Royce was one of the towering figures of American pragmatism, his thought is often considered in the wake of his more famous peers. Jacquelyn Ann K. Kegley brings fresh perspective to Royce's ideas and clarifies his individual philosophical vision. Kegley foregrounds Royce's concern with contemporary public issues and ethics, focusing in particular on how he addresses long-standing problems such as race, religion, community, the dangers of mass media, mass culture, and blatant individualistic capitalism. She offers a deep and fruitful philosophical exploration of Royce's ideas on conflict resolution, memory, self-identity, and self-development. Kegley's keen understanding and appreciation of Royce reintroduces him to a new generation of scholars and students.
Community, Rights, and Democracy
In Legal Pragmatism, Michael Sullivan looks closely at the place of the individual and community in democratic society. After mapping out a brief history of American legal thinking regarding rights, from communitarianism to liberalism, Sullivan gives a rich and nuanced account of how pragmatism worked to resolve conflicts of self-interest and community well-being. Sullivan's view of pragmatism provides a comprehensive framework for understanding democracy, as well as issues such as health care, education, gay marriage, and illegal immigration that will determine its character in the future. Legal Pragmatism is a bold, carefully argued book that presents a unique understanding of contemporary society, law, and politics.
Josiah Royce and the Genuine Moral Life
As a virtue, loyalty has an ambiguous place in our thinking about moral judgments. We lauded the loyalty of firefighters who risked their lives to save others on 9/11 while condemning the loyalty of those who perpetrated the catastrophe. Responding to such uneasiness and confusion, Loyalty toLoyalty contributes to ongoing conversation about how we should respond to conflicts in loyalty in a pluralistic world. The lone philosopher to base an ethical theory on the virtue of loyalty is Josiah Royce. Loyalty to Loyalty engages Royce's moral theory, revealing how loyalty, rather than being just one virtue among others, is central to living a genuinely moral and meaningful life. Mathew A. Foust shows how the theory of loyalty Royce advances can be brought to bear on issues such as the partiality/impartiality debate in ethical theory, the role of loyalty in liberatory struggle, and the ethics of whistleblowing and disaster response.
Rethinking the Roots of American Philosophy
Pragmatism is America's most distinctive philosophy. Generally it has been understood as a development of European thought in response to the "American wilderness." A closer examination, however, reveals that the roots and central commitments of pragmatism are indigenous to North America. Native Pragmatism recovers this history and thus provides the means to re-conceive the scope and potential of American philosophy. Pragmatism has been at best only partially understood by those who focus on its European antecedents. This book casts new light on pragmatism's complex origins and demands a rethinking of African American and feminist thought in the context of the American philosophical tradition. Scott L. Pratt demonstrates that pragmatism and its development involved the work of many thinkers previously overlooked in the history of philosophy.
Pets, People, and Pragmatism examines human relationships with pets without assuming that such relations are either benign or unnatural and to be avoided. The book addresses a lack of respect in pet-people relationships; for respectful relationships to be a real possibility, however, humans must make the effort to understand the beings with whom we live, work, and play. American pragmatism understands that humans and other animal beings have been interacting and transforming each other for thousands of years. There is nothing "unnatural" about the human domestication of other animal beings, though domestication does raise specific practical and ethical questions. A pragmatist account of our relationship with those animal beings commonly considered as pets does not prohibit the use of these beings in research, entertainment, competition, or work. It does, however, find abuse and neglect unethical. Since abuse can occur in any use of other animal beings, this pragmatist account takes up the abusive practices in research, entertainment, competition, and work without arguing that research, entertainment, competition, and work are inherently abusive. Some of the sources of abuse have been addressed by utilitarian and deontological accounts, but a pragmatist evolutionary perspective offers unique insights and results in some surprising conclusions: for instance, there may be an ethical obligation to let a horse race, a dog show, or a cat compete in agility.Pets, People, and Pragmatism embarks on a philosophical journey that will captivate scholars and pet enthusiasts alike. It provides an important contribution to longstanding debates in the area of animal issues and strengthens the idea of multiple approaches to non-human beings. It also opens space for approaches that challenge some of the assumptions in the field of philosophy that have resulted in a dualistic and hierarchical approach to metaphysics and ethics.