The Public Has to Define Itself

Studies in Philosophy and Education 22 (5):351-370 (2003)
In the article texts by John Dewey, JürgenHabermas and Richard Rorty are discussed in thelight of different meanings of the Public. Thisis done by discussing foundational andnon-foundational claims on a philosophy ofpragmatism and democracy, and by looking atdifferent meanings of intersubjectivity. Onecrucial difference I am pointing at, is thatwhile Dewey's intersubjectivity is stemmingfrom philosophical arguments as well aspolitical, Habermas's intersubjectivity isrestricted to the level of (an almostscientific) philosophical abstractargumentation without any concrete language ofpolitics. When it comes to Rorty I stress thathe is far closer than Habermas to Dewey'spragmatism, especially his ambition to includethe specific individuals and to stressindividuality in a philosophy of communicationand public conduct
Keywords foundationalism  individuality  intersubjectivity  non-fondationalism  pragmatism  The Public  radical democracy
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DOI 10.1023/A:1025127923809
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