Abstract

Jane Addams’s prefaces and introductions are isolated from their texts and examined in chronological order. This throws into sharp focus her basic commitments and methodology and shows how they evolved over time. Her basic premise is that only gradually and with concerted effort can cultural and social barriers be dismantled, thus enabling genuine understanding and mutual, constructive action. Her experimental efforts to construct a social self develop in tandem with a social morality. Both require recognition of the ties that bind us to one another and the corollary that this creates obligations of mutual respect and support. She defined scientific methodology as engaged, perspectival, and value-laden at the very time it was portraying itself as detached, indifferent to context, and value-free. She showed how lived experience and scientific approaches to knowledge were mutually reinforcing and argued that gathering data and testing it were enhanced, not diminished, by directing it towards social good.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9587
Print ISSN
0009-1774
Pages
pp. 127-156
Launched on MUSE
2013-10-18
Open Access
No
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