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A New Road to Walk Together: Lessons from Dewey’s Political Activism

A New Road to Walk Together: Lessons from Dewey’s Political Activism John Dewey’s role as a “public philosopher” is well-documented; his political activism, however, has not received much attention from philosophers. While Dewey is well remembered as a philosopher who escaped the walls of the academy to speak to and write for general audiences, he also lent his name, status, and intellectual energy to political organizations and movements in American politics. In the first part of the paper, I provide an introduction to Dewey’s activism and its relation to the philosophical project of “democratization.” I consider present-day parallels between Dewey’s diagnosis of America’s political problems and the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, as well as the structural and methodological challenges facing a Deweyan progressive politics. I conclude by advocating for a new conception of “public pragmatism” that reflects lessons learned and contemporary conditions for political activism by philosophers seeking to follow in Dewey’s footsteps. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

A New Road to Walk Together: Lessons from Dewey’s Political Activism

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 16 (2-3): 21 – May 17, 2019

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-01602002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

John Dewey’s role as a “public philosopher” is well-documented; his political activism, however, has not received much attention from philosophers. While Dewey is well remembered as a philosopher who escaped the walls of the academy to speak to and write for general audiences, he also lent his name, status, and intellectual energy to political organizations and movements in American politics. In the first part of the paper, I provide an introduction to Dewey’s activism and its relation to the philosophical project of “democratization.” I consider present-day parallels between Dewey’s diagnosis of America’s political problems and the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, as well as the structural and methodological challenges facing a Deweyan progressive politics. I conclude by advocating for a new conception of “public pragmatism” that reflects lessons learned and contemporary conditions for political activism by philosophers seeking to follow in Dewey’s footsteps.

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: May 17, 2019

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