John Dewey's theory of democratic virtues

Abstract

The aim of this project is to clarify the locution “democratic virtues” as it appears in current John Dewey scholarship and as it is conceivable in certain notions and concepts within the framework of Dewey's moral, political philosophy. Dewey's theory of virtue has gained some deals in recent Dewey scholarship. As of yet, however, a few, if not all, have brought any profound insight of Dewey's conception of democratic virtues into Dewey study; the use of the locution “democratic virtues” by Dewey scholars has not yet programmed to the point of having a dearly articulated sense or definition. However, extrapolating Dewey's view of virtue being exhibited through its continuity with his explicitly elaborated theory of democracy brings it to me the fact that democratic virtue can be defined as a special feature of virtues to be illuminated in the special context of democracy. It is an attempt to formulate his theory of democratic virtues from such theoretical phenomenon. To meet successfully this aim, I demonstrate how Dewey's main conclusions about democracy are integrally reconciled with his account of virtues. Accordingly, much of discussion in this project will be, first of all, of Dewey's theory of democracy as experience, but not simply as political form of government, secondly, of his account of virtues as human disposition formed in and with experience, in other words, as the art of experience, and finally, of his argument of how democratic virtues are essential to the realization of our democratic life: that is, of his distinctive psychology about virtues in his deep social, political commentary.

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