David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of the Social Sciences 29 (2):207-230 (1999)
The author argues that the contributions of Jane Addams and the women of theHull House Settlement to pragmatist theory, particularly as formulated by JohnDewey, are largely responsible for its emancipatory emphasis. By recoveringAddams's own pragmatist theory, a version of pragmatist feminism is developedthat speaks to such contemporary feminist issues as the manner of inclusionin society of diverse persons, marginalized by gender, ethnicity, race, andsexual orientation; the strengths and limitations of standpoint theory; and theneed for feminist ethics to embrace the social nature of morality. The model ofsocial democracy that informs the pragmatist shift from a detached theory ofknowing to an engaged theory of understanding differentiates it from both liberalindividualism and communitarianism. Dewey's repeated attacks on theincoherence of the model of classical liberal individualism, for example, areeven more persuasive when seen in the context of the model of the intersubjectiveconstitution of the individual that Addams develops from examining therelation of personal development to social interaction among the women residentsof Hull House.
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