Educational Philosophy and Theory 49 (10):984-994 (2017)

James Garrison
Virginia Tech
My article is a rejoinder to Gert Biesta’s, ‘“This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours”. Deconstructive pragmatism as a philosophy of education.’ Biesta attempts to place Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction in ‘the very heart’ of John Dewey’s pragmatism. My article strives to impress Deweyan pragmatism in the heart of Derridian deconstruction. It does so by offering Dewey’s denotative, naturalistic, empirical perspectivalism as an alternative to Derrida’s anti-empirical quasi-transcendentalism for understanding otherness and difference. The first section of my article shows Biesta offers a catastrophically mistaken and confused argument. The second section imprints Deweyan pragmatism in the heart of Derrida’s deconstruction. Dewey specifically makes philosophical use of a version of the genetic method he calls the ‘empirical denotative method’ to trace the exclusions as well as the inclusions of our perspectival selections driven by our finite embodied needs, interest, desires, and purposes. We may derive the trace of quasi-transcendental différance from the trace of empirically perspectival inclusions and exclusions. Specifically, différance is a reified hypostatic abstraction. Next, I respond to Biesta’s claim that since the metaphysics of presence still entangles Dewey, he cannot appreciate the fact that presence depends on absence. Actually, presence in Dewey always depends on absence. Finally, we will find that Biesta’s own deconstructive pragmatism flounders on his commitment to self-refuting relativism.
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DOI 10.1080/00131857.2016.1264286
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The Presocratic Philosophers.Gregory Vlastos - 1959 - Philosophical Review 68 (4):531.

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