Democracy, value inquiry, and Dewey's metaphysics

Journal of Value Inquiry 27 (1):13-27 (1993)
This essay proposes a re-evaluation of Dewey's work with emphasis upon the ability of his philosophy to effect a realistic reformulation and development of America's tradition of humanistic liberalism. Dewey combines the tough-minded realism (or naturalism), congenial to the scientific orientation of American philosophy, with a firm conviction of the need of values and revaluation in community life. I draw on recent work of Hilary Putnam on Dewey and argue for the viability of Dewey's conception of value inquiry. The value of Dewey's work to American liberalism extends beyond the version of liberalism, from the 1930's and the 1940's with which is name is most closely associated.
Keywords John Dewey  democracy  social inquiry
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