Authors
Italo Testa
University of Parma
Abstract
: In this paper I will focus on the notion of “dominant patterns”, as revealed by the recently discovered typescript of what we can assume to be Dewey’s fragmentary and incomplete preliminary lecture notes for the Lecture Series on Social and Political Philosophy. I will show that the way the notion of “dominant patterns” is dealt with in the text of the lecture notes is not only consistent with the conceptual content of the whole series of the Lectures in China as published by R. W. Clopton and Tsuin-Chen, but also gives us further arguments to appreciate the centrality of this question to the development of Dewey’s philosophical project during this period. In particular, I will argue that a comparative reading of the lecture notes and of the Lectures in China allows us to appreciate the central role dominant patterns play for Dewey’s understanding of social groupings as embodying habitual patterns of action and the way habit formation shapes and gives content to the interests that groups identify with and are identified by in social practices. Secondly, I will argue that such a comparative reading allows us to appreciate how in the lecture series Dewey has developed the notion of dominant patterns into a theory of social domination which is basically described in terms of habitualized recognitive relations. Hence, the discovery of the lecture notes is also very helpful in deepening our understanding of the Deweyan approach to the question of social recognition – and in particular of the dynamics of institutional recognition and its ideological function – and how it relates to habitualized patterns of dominant-subservient relations. domination, habits, social philosophy, struggle for recognition, conflict, groups, hegemony, power, institutionalization
Keywords Dewey  domination  habit  social philosophy  ideology  hegemony  power  pragmatism  conflict  institutions
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