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Dewey, Democracy, and China



Richard Rorty* The essays in this volume are attempts to follow in the footsteps of John Dewey,l a philosopher whose ideas had considerable resonance in China during the first half of the twentieth century. Dewey was already sixty, and the best known American philosopher of his day, when he arrived in China. He landed just three days before the erupdon of the May Fourth Movement in Shanghai, and stayed for two years. In his lectures in China, Dewey offered his Chinese audiences his own version of pragmatism, hoping that his synthesis of Darwinian naturalism and Hegelian historicism would be of use to the rising generation of Chinese intellectuals. Dewey did his best to learn about the problems that SUN Zhongshan ~,@LD (Sun Yatsen) faced in transforming Chinese governmental insdtudons and cultural traditions. He wrote extensively about those problems. Many Chinese thinkers of the generation of HU Sift ~ (Dewey's student, and later ambassador from the Guomintang I~IL~ government to the US) viewed Dewey as the Western philosopher who had the most to offer China. I hope that this volume may be of use to Chinese students of philosophy who would like to place Dewey's ideas in the context



DaoSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 1, 2003

DOI: 10.1007/BF02910337

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