John Atkinson Hobson and the Roots of John Dewey’s Economic Thought

Phillip Deen
University of New Hampshire, Manchester
American pragmatist John Dewey's economic thought has remained relatively unknown by both philosophers and economists. This article addresses this lack of interest and replies to criticism of pragmatism as the philosophy of ‘corporate liberalism’ by tracing one source of Dewey's economic thought to British New Liberal John Atkinson Hobson. General similarities are discussed first, followed by a presentation of Dewey's use of Hobson's theory of underconsumption during the Great Depression. It concludes by presenting Dewey's understanding of a liberalism that had truly become corporate.
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