The current global wave of nationalism threatens the process of shared critical reflection, driving many of us back to reading Hannah Arendt. These “dark times” are especially challenging from a Deweyan pragmatist perspective because critical and cooperative inquiry requires a free community of thinkers. Having lived in a near-fascist religious group for fifteen years, this essay brings personal experiences to the questions of how we think as well as create spaces for diverse yet shared realities to think and act in freedom. Drawing on Arendt as well as Dewey, Addams, and Minnich, this essay explores three necessities for integrity in dark times: (a) Radical honesty and reflection which requires facing up to reality and being mindful about events in our world; (b) Building communities: creating shared reality and public spaces to appear, (c) Developing the skills of engaged thinking and the capacity for deep reflection as a foundation for action together.
Contemporary Pragmatism – Brill
Published: May 17, 2019