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The Institutional Configuration of Deweyan Democracy

The Institutional Configuration of Deweyan Democracy Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 9, No. 2 (December 2012), 5­34 Editions Rodopi ©2012 William H. Simon After more than two decades of effort to recover and adapt John Dewey's thought for a reformed liberal politics, the institutional implications of his ideas remain elusive. This essay argues that a distinctive set of modern business practices and an incipient public policy architecture embody key precepts of Dewey's political theory. The practices and architecture have developed independently of Dewey's ideas, but they elaborate the ideas implicitly, and they are illuminated by them. 1. Introduction For much of the past century, Americans of all political persuasions have been happy to call themselves pragmatists. Yet the pre-eminent pragmatist philosopher in the realm of political thought ­ John Dewey ­ considered pragmatism inimical to what have remained the two dominant political ideologies in America ­ free-market conservatism and welfare-state liberalism. Dewey's voluminous writings and tireless political activism did little to curb the promiscuous waving of the pragmatist banner. He showed important connections between the core ideas of pragmatism and the concerns of political theory, but his arguments remained vague about policies and institutions. After several decades of neglect, Dewey re-emerged as a major focus of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

The Institutional Configuration of Deweyan Democracy

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 9 (2): 5 – Apr 21, 2012

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2012 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000228
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 9, No. 2 (December 2012), 5­34 Editions Rodopi ©2012 William H. Simon After more than two decades of effort to recover and adapt John Dewey's thought for a reformed liberal politics, the institutional implications of his ideas remain elusive. This essay argues that a distinctive set of modern business practices and an incipient public policy architecture embody key precepts of Dewey's political theory. The practices and architecture have developed independently of Dewey's ideas, but they elaborate the ideas implicitly, and they are illuminated by them. 1. Introduction For much of the past century, Americans of all political persuasions have been happy to call themselves pragmatists. Yet the pre-eminent pragmatist philosopher in the realm of political thought ­ John Dewey ­ considered pragmatism inimical to what have remained the two dominant political ideologies in America ­ free-market conservatism and welfare-state liberalism. Dewey's voluminous writings and tireless political activism did little to curb the promiscuous waving of the pragmatist banner. He showed important connections between the core ideas of pragmatism and the concerns of political theory, but his arguments remained vague about policies and institutions. After several decades of neglect, Dewey re-emerged as a major focus of

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2012

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