Pragmatism and diversity: Dewey in the context of late twentieth century debates

New York: Palgrave-Macmillan (2012)
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Abstract

Diversity is both an unavoidable aspect of twenty-first century living and a powerful challenge to older philosophical traditions that still assume as normatively universal a set of values, ways of thinking, institutions, and habits of living that emerged within earlier eras of more homogeneous cultures, less developed technologies, and more accepted forms of linguistic, legal, religious, economic, political, and military domination. Within recent years, new styles of philosophical discourse, including deconstruction, postmodernism, feminism, post-colonialism, and critical race theory, have persuasively challenged these universalistic assumptions to reveal the important human differences they marginalize. Experience-based appreciation of the mutually educative potential of diverse standpoints as well as sober concern about the perils of our present times have led many thinkers to look for contemporary forms of pragmatism and cosmopolitanism as hospitable intellectual gathering places for urgently needed cross-difference conversations that may reflect and give substance to shared visions of democratic diversity. The eight authors in this volume engage in cross-difference conversations with other thinkers from earlier periods and other philosophical traditions, as well as with each other, in order to reconstruct pragmatism and cosmopolitanism in ways that are more attuned to our lived experience of diversity as well as our hopes for a diversity-appreciating democratic future.

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Judith M. Green
Fordham University

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