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John Dewey and Social Criticism: An Introduction

John Dewey and Social Criticism: An Introduction jsp Arvi Särkelä university of lucerne Justo Serrano Zamora institute of social research Critical social theories are generally understood to be distinct from other normative theories by their explicit orientation toward emancipation: they not only present normative criteria for assessing the legitimacy or justification of social institutions or merely inquire into the actualized freedom of a given form of social life but claim to point toward a "freedom in view"--an end that might aid those participating in social struggles to overcome the pathological, alienated, or ideological social order of the present. John Dewey's social theory clearly cherishes this ideal of social criticism. It contributes to a critical social inquiry in a variety of ways, some of which, so we believe, are still to be discovered. For a long time, however, it was rarely discussed explicitly as a critical theory or in the context of other traditions of social critique, as exemplified by the Frankfurt school. Yet the last few years have witnessed a reemergence of attempts to bring Dewey and critical social theory into dialogue. In this context, some central questions concerning the possibility of a critical theory in our times arise: Should Dewey be understood as a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Speculative Philosophy Penn State University Press

John Dewey and Social Criticism: An Introduction

The Journal of Speculative Philosophy , Volume 31 (2) – Mar 29, 2017

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Penn State University Press
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Copyright © Pennsylvania State University
ISSN
1527-9383
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Abstract

jsp Arvi Särkelä university of lucerne Justo Serrano Zamora institute of social research Critical social theories are generally understood to be distinct from other normative theories by their explicit orientation toward emancipation: they not only present normative criteria for assessing the legitimacy or justification of social institutions or merely inquire into the actualized freedom of a given form of social life but claim to point toward a "freedom in view"--an end that might aid those participating in social struggles to overcome the pathological, alienated, or ideological social order of the present. John Dewey's social theory clearly cherishes this ideal of social criticism. It contributes to a critical social inquiry in a variety of ways, some of which, so we believe, are still to be discovered. For a long time, however, it was rarely discussed explicitly as a critical theory or in the context of other traditions of social critique, as exemplified by the Frankfurt school. Yet the last few years have witnessed a reemergence of attempts to bring Dewey and critical social theory into dialogue. In this context, some central questions concerning the possibility of a critical theory in our times arise: Should Dewey be understood as a

Journal

The Journal of Speculative PhilosophyPenn State University Press

Published: Mar 29, 2017

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