Orientational Meliorism in Dewey and Dōgen
- Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society: A Quarterly Journal in American Philosophy
- Indiana University Press
- Volume 43, Number 1, Winter 2007
- pp. 185-215
- Additional Information
In the present work, I constructively engage the thought of the American pragmatist John Dewey and the Zen Buddhist Dōmgen on moral cultivation. I argue that Dewey presents a useful notion of moral development and growth with a focus on attentiveness to one's situation, but I also note that he leaves out extended analysis of how one is to foster such an orientation. Turning to the writings of Dōmgen, I argue that Deweyan moral theory can be supplemented by the methods that Zen Buddhism prescribes to bring attentiveness back to one's experience of activity. This analysis is placed in the context of my overall project of orientational meliorism, or the alteration of one's orientation toward self, world, and activity with the goal of improving the quality of one's future experience.