John Dewey and Critical Philosophies for Critical Political Times

Contemporary Pragmatism 16 (2-3):141-146 (2019)
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Abstract

How can we employ the philosophy of John Dewey to make sense of contemporary political contexts? How might Deweyan theorisations of present-day political problems inform contemporary policy approaches to, for instance, immigration, globalisation, global governance structures, or democratic institutions? What is new about contemporary political practice and thought from a pragmatist perspective? What is merely echoing the thinking and affective investments of previous political moments? And what is critical about this moment in time? These are some of the questions that prompted the organisation of a conference titled “John Dewey and Critical Philosophies for Critical Political Times” at University College Dublin in October 2017. In light of the recent rise in nationalist rhetoric and unprecedented political developments, such as Brexit, the two-day event sought to draw out the confluences between the historico-political context that John Dewey was operating in and the contemporary political moment. At the same time, the conference set out to interrogate appeals to “history repeating itself” by capturing the unique inflection of the present. Conference delegates deftly examined such temporal concordances and dissonances by drawing on John Dewey’s expansive philosophical thought, theorising a host of topics ranging from structures of inequality - including gender, racial, and class inequality - to the role of inquiry in democratic practice. They made use of a wide array of Deweyan concepts and theories, encompassing, inter alia, his naturalism; his writing on democracy; his conception of the habituated, transacting self; and his meliorism. The essays collected in this special issue include some of the highlights of these presentations, as well as pieces specifically commissioned for the purposes of this publication.

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Author Profiles

Clara Fischer
Queen's University, Belfast

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Pragmatist feminism.Judy Whipps - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Philosophy and Civilization.John Dewey - 1933 - Philosophy 8 (31):360-361.
Philosophy and Civilization.John Dewey - 1932 - Philosophical Review 41:324.
Philosophy and Civilization. [REVIEW]George P. Adams - 1934 - International Journal of Ethics 44 (2):269-270.

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