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Linking Obama’s Pragmatism to Philosophical Pragmatism: Obama as a Pragmatic Democrat (and Why it Matters)

Linking Obama’s Pragmatism to Philosophical Pragmatism: Obama as a Pragmatic Democrat (and Why it... Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 8, No. 2 (December 2011), 113­121 Editions Rodopi © 2011 I make the case for thinking of Obama as a pragmatist, talk about the influence of his community organizing experience, and then reflect on some difficulties of implementing those "pragmatic democratic" values as president. I call attention to some arguably pragmatic but undemocratic features of his presidency, notably, a tendency to technocratic and top-down management. In response to complaints about Obama from a politically liberal orientation, I will defend his actions as pragmatic. 1. I have for sometime been trying to understand in what sense Obama is a pragmatist and in what sense, if any, his pragmatism connects up to philosophical pragmatism. It would be nice to know what Obama understands pragmatism to mean and what he understands the alternative to his pragmatism to be. Most of all we need to say with some precision this is what one would expect a pragmatist in the tradition of Peirce, James, Addams, Dewey, and Mead would do if s/he were president and Obama does that. Or this is what we would expect and he does not do that. In this way we could avoid confirmation bias ­ http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Linking Obama’s Pragmatism to Philosophical Pragmatism: Obama as a Pragmatic Democrat (and Why it Matters)

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 8 (2): 113 – Apr 21, 2011

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2011 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000205
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 8, No. 2 (December 2011), 113­121 Editions Rodopi © 2011 I make the case for thinking of Obama as a pragmatist, talk about the influence of his community organizing experience, and then reflect on some difficulties of implementing those "pragmatic democratic" values as president. I call attention to some arguably pragmatic but undemocratic features of his presidency, notably, a tendency to technocratic and top-down management. In response to complaints about Obama from a politically liberal orientation, I will defend his actions as pragmatic. 1. I have for sometime been trying to understand in what sense Obama is a pragmatist and in what sense, if any, his pragmatism connects up to philosophical pragmatism. It would be nice to know what Obama understands pragmatism to mean and what he understands the alternative to his pragmatism to be. Most of all we need to say with some precision this is what one would expect a pragmatist in the tradition of Peirce, James, Addams, Dewey, and Mead would do if s/he were president and Obama does that. Or this is what we would expect and he does not do that. In this way we could avoid confirmation bias ­

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2011

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