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Dewey and His Vision of Democracy

Dewey and His Vision of Democracy Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 7, No. 1 (June 2010), 69­91 Editions Rodopi © 2010 Melvin L. Rogers In this essay, I maintain that Dewey's 1888 article "The Ethics of Democracy" is the most immediate thematic and conceptual predecessor to The Public and Its Problems. Both texts revolve around a number of key themes at the heart of Dewey's thinking about democracy: the relationship between the individual and society, the legitimacy of majoritarianism, and the significance and meaning of political deliberation. When these themes are taken together we come to understand the anti-elitist core of Dewey's political thinking. John Dewey wrote The Public and Its Problems in the spirit of debate and disagreement about the meaning and future of democracy, particularly with the journalist and political commentator Walter Lippmann (1889­1974) in mind. The Dewey-Lippmann debate is a staple of American political thought, but it has achieved wider currency as many scholars continue to discover the universal importance of their disagreements about democratic decision making and its relationship to public opinion. The challenge that both democracy and Dewey faced in the figure of Lippmann ­ a challenge that centered on the viability of popular sovereignty and any faith placed therein ­ http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Dewey and His Vision of Democracy

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 7 (1): 69 – Apr 21, 2010

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2010 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000156
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 7, No. 1 (June 2010), 69­91 Editions Rodopi © 2010 Melvin L. Rogers In this essay, I maintain that Dewey's 1888 article "The Ethics of Democracy" is the most immediate thematic and conceptual predecessor to The Public and Its Problems. Both texts revolve around a number of key themes at the heart of Dewey's thinking about democracy: the relationship between the individual and society, the legitimacy of majoritarianism, and the significance and meaning of political deliberation. When these themes are taken together we come to understand the anti-elitist core of Dewey's political thinking. John Dewey wrote The Public and Its Problems in the spirit of debate and disagreement about the meaning and future of democracy, particularly with the journalist and political commentator Walter Lippmann (1889­1974) in mind. The Dewey-Lippmann debate is a staple of American political thought, but it has achieved wider currency as many scholars continue to discover the universal importance of their disagreements about democratic decision making and its relationship to public opinion. The challenge that both democracy and Dewey faced in the figure of Lippmann ­ a challenge that centered on the viability of popular sovereignty and any faith placed therein ­

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2010

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