John Dewey, widely known as "America's philosopher," provided important insights into education and political philosophy, but surprisingly never set down a complete moral or ethical philosophy. Gregory Fernando Pappas presents the first systematic and comprehensive treatment of Dewey's ethics. By providing a pluralistic account of moral life that is both unified and coherent, Pappas considers ethics to be key to an understanding of Dewey's other philosophical insights, especially his views on democracy. Pappas unfolds Dewey's ethical vision by looking carefully at (...) the virtues and values of ideal character and community. Showing that Dewey's ethics are compatible with the rest of his philosophy, Pappas corrects the reputation of American pragmatism as a philosophy committed to skepticism and relativism. Readers will find a robust and boldly detailed view of Dewey's ethics in this groundbreaking book. (shrink)
there has been a recent resurgence of pragmatism1 in sociopolitical theory, one in which pragmatism is presented as offering an alternative and promising approach to nonideal theories of justice. This may seem ironic since the record of the classical pragmatists on being explicit about justice or the injustices of their time in their philosophical corpus is a mixed one at best. However, this has not stopped recent philosophers from continuing to draw from the philosophical resources in this tradition to address (...) the injustices of today. The title of the 2014 SAAP presidential address by Ken Stikkers was “Toward a.. (shrink)
In this essay I pay homage to one of the most important but neglected philosophers of liberation in Latin America, Luis Villoro, by considering what possible lessons we can learn from his philosophy about how to approach injustices in the Americas. Villoro was sympathetic to liberatory-leftist philosophies but he became concerned with the direction they took once they grew into philosophical movements centered on shared beliefs or on totalizing theories that presume global explanatory power. These movements became vulnerable to extremes (...) or vices that undermine their liberatory promise. I examine some of these worrying tendencies among that body of literature roughly described as “decolonial thought”. After a concise presentation of Villoro and the decolonial turn, I consider four dangers that this new liberatory-leftist movement faces and why Villoro should be a significant voice as the decoloniality debate moves forward. (shrink)
we have recently seen the publication of several books on the narrative and identity of Pragmatism. Perhaps this is a sign that, after the first decade of the twenty-first century, scholars of Pragmatism now have the required distance or historical perspective to be confident about the history of Pragmatism in the twentieth century. In this paper, I examine the narratives of Pragmatism in Richard Bernstein’s The Pragmatic Turn and Colin Koopman’s Pragmatism as Transition.1 In spite of their differences, these scholars (...) argue for an inclusive “big-tent” Pragmatism.2 Their view of Pragmatism in America is optimistic and reconciliatory about the past, present, and future tensions that exist between pragmatist .. (shrink)
Language fails not because thought fails, but because no verbal symbols can do justice to the fullness and richness of thought. In his later works, more specifically in his seminal 1930 essay “Qualitative Thought”, John Dewey questioned some of the traditional assumptions about the nature and function of the qualitative in inquiry. Dewey foresaw what recent scientific accounts of human thinking are confirming: it is more complex, less linear, more emotional, affective, bodily-based, non-reflective, non-linguistic, non-conscious than philosophers have assumed. Secondary (...) sources on Dewey have emphasized how, contrary to orthodoxy, inquiry is social, instrumental, and experimental, but for... (shrink)
The recent discovery of the original manuscript Dewey wrote in preparation to his Lectures in China is an opportunity to revisit the question of what are the key texts in Dewey’s socio-political philosophy. The assumption in Dewey’s scholarship and teaching has been that The Public and its Problems or his other books on Liberalism are the main texts to be read.1 While these texts are important, much that is fundamental and that distinguishes Dewey’s approach from others would be missed without (...) reading the Lectures. I will provide an analysis and reconstruction of this new manuscript that supports making the text central to understanding Dewey’s socio-political philosophy and the source of insights for any... (shrink)
Dewey provides an ethics that is committed to those aspects of experience that have been associated with the "feminine." In addition to an argument against the devaluation of the affective and of concrete relationships, we also find in Dewey's ethics a thoughtful appreciation of how and why these things are essential to our moral life. In this article I consider the importance of the affective and of relationships in Dewey's ethics and set out aspects of Dewey's ethics that might be (...) useful resources for feminist writers in ethics. (shrink)
International Relations's intellectual history is almost always treated as a history of ideas in isolation from both those discursive and political economies which provide its disciplinary and wider context. This paper contributes to this wider analysis by focusing on the impact of the field's discursive economy. Specifically, using Foucaultian archaeologico-genealogical strategy of problematization to analyse the emergence and disciplinary trajectories of Constructivism in IR, this paper argues that Constructivism has been brought gradually closer to its mainstream Neo-utilitarian counterpart through a (...) process of normalization, and investigates how it was possible for Constructivism to be purged of its early critical potential, both theoretical and practical. The first part of the paper shows how the intellectual configuration of Constructivism and its disciplinary fortunes are inseparable from far-from-unproblematic readings of the Philosophy of Social Science: the choices made at this level are neither as intellectually neutral nor as disciplinarily inconsequential as they are presented. The second and third parts chart the genealogies of Constructivism, showing how its overall normalization occurred in two stages, each revolving around particular practices and events. The second part concentrates on older genealogies, analysing the politics of early classificatory practices regarding Constructivism, and showing how these permitted the distillation and immunization of Constructivism – and thus of the rest of the mainstream scholarship which it was depicted as compatible with – against more radical Postmodernist/Post-structuralist critiques. Finally, the third part focuses attention on recent genealogies, revealing new attempts to reconstruct and reformulate Constructivism: here, indirect neutralization practices such as the elaboration of ‘Pragmatist’ Constructivism, as well as the direct neutralization such as the formulation of ‘Realist’ Constructivism, are key events in Constructivism's normalization. These apparently ‘critical’ alternatives that aim to ‘provide the identity variable’ in fact remain close to Neo-utilitarianism, but their successful representation as ‘critical’ help neutralize calls for greater openness in mainstream IR. Rather than a simple intellectual history, it is this complex process of reading and producing that counts as ‘Constructivism’, which explains both the normalization of Constructivism and the continued marginalization of Postmodernist/Post-structuralist approaches in mainstream IR's infra-disciplinary balance of intellectual power. (shrink)
E n e s t e e n s a y o a r g u me n t o q u e l ametafilosofía de los pragmatistas es lacontribución más importante de estosf i l ós of os a l a hi s t or i a de l a f i l os of í ay es t ambi én l o que l os di st i ngue deot ros f i l ósof os. Los f i (...) l ósof os cl ási cosamericanos y losfilósofos pragmatistas hispanos, Ortegay Gasset y Risieri Frondizi, propusieronque l a f i l osof í a debe de part i r desdel a experi enci a, es deci r, un punt o departida práctico. Despues de explicar quésignifica sostener que la experiencia es elpunto de partida, examino las razonesque tienen estos filósofos para sostenerque la experiencia es el punto de partidaapropiado si se quiere que la filosofía seaempírica y relevante. In this paper the metaphilosophy of pragmatists is the most important contribution of these philosophers to the history of philosophyand is also what distinguishes them fromother philosophers. The classic Americanphilosophers and the Hispanic philosophers, Ortega yGasset and Risieri Frondizi, proposed thatphilosophy must start from experience.After explaining what it means to takeexperience as the starting point, I examinethe reasons that pragmatists philosophershave for holding the view that experienceshould be the starting point if philosophyis to be empirical and relevant. (shrink)
pragmatism has been appropriated and welcomed in Latin America because there is much prior practice and circumstance that makes for a good fit, and not simply because it was an external solution to local problems. In fact, many developments have already occurred in Latin America that, although not directly influenced by John Dewey, are better examples of his methods and ideas than what occurs north of the Rio Grande.1 Indeed, when Dewey was in Mexico, he was impressed with their educational (...) reforms,2 while Sandinista Nicaragua, as Joe Betz has argued, exemplifies “the social experimentation Dewey called for in his 1935 ‘Liberalism and Social Action.’”3This paper provides new evidence that the ideas and practices in... (shrink)
This chapter makes the claim that pragmatism is a philosophy that affirms and reflects values that are predominant and are cherished by Latin, not North American culture. It breaks the thesis up into five parts. They include an exploration of philosophy and culture, the values and vices of Anglo-Saxon and Latin culture, pragmatism, Anglo vices and Latin traits, pragmatism and the balance of America, and a Latinization of America.
There are remarkable similarities in the philosophical starting points and conclusions of Peirce and Ortega, in spite of the fact that they belong to different intellectual and cultural traditions. In this paper a common topic, central to their pragmatic view, is studied: the distinction between indubitable and doubtable beliefs, between "creencias" and "ideas".
I attempt to find an adequate answer to the two following basic issues of an ethics of belief: How do we determine what we ought to believe? What dispositions and abilities ought one to develop in order to lead a responsible "doxastic life"? I consider first how the traditional but still predominant view is in need of a radical revision and then propose a new and more promising pragmatic position. ;In an introductory chapter I elucidate the scope, richness, and contemporary (...) relevance of the above issues. In the second chapter I show the inadequacy of the "epistemicist" ethics of belief. This view assumes the ideal of the epistemically responsible believer and holds that the only legitimate justification for any belief comes from an epistemic point of view. I argue that the restriction to epistemic considerations, goals, and virtues is unwarranted, and that even the most flexible recent versions of this tradition are not without difficulties. ;In third chapter I consider the alternative view of William James. I argue that this view avoids many of the pitfalls of the epistemic tradition. Convinced that the views of William James on the ethics of belief have not been given their due, I try to develop a treatment of the topic that goes beyond the usual discussions of "The Will to Believe" and considers all of James' published and unpublished manuscripts. James' view suggests that a pragmatists needs to be committed to a "situation" ethics of belief. James also takes us in the direction of a more inclusive ideal, a more promising and flexible understanding of rationality. ;In the final chapter, I propose a basic sketch of a pragmatist position which goes beyond James and is nurtured by the insights of John Dewey. I first consider what are the fundamental differences between the traditional view presented in Chap II and a general pragmatic approach to the issues of the ethics of belief. Then, in the remainder of the chapter, I examine the plausibility of complementing the situation approach with a virtue approach. Pragmatism is presented as taking a positive stand on what constitutes an ideal believer and its ideal community or way of life. (shrink)
The book will prove an invaluable source for philosophers and philosophy students, as well as for scholars from other disciplines (e.g., history, political science, sociology, diversity studies, and gender and race studies) to begin understanding the dynamic relationship in thinking between the two Americas. In addition to documenting the results of a new and thriving area of research, it can also function as a primer to direct and provoke further inquiry. -/- Its essays, from North American, Spanish, and Latin American (...) scholars, fill a void in the humanities and introduce a number of Hispanic pragmatists who have not been included in standard pragmatist texts. (shrink)
John Dewey and the Contemporary “Deliberative Turn” in Political TheoryIn recent years Political Theory and Socio-Political Philosophy has experienced what has been called a “deliberative turn”. I argue against the recent proclamations of John Dewey as a predecessor, an influence, or as a founding father of deliberative democracy, and instead use Dewey to suggest some serious limitations of Deliberative democracy to deal with the challenges we face in the 21st century in our counterfeit democracy, such as the new forms of (...) emotional and visual persuasion.. Deliberative democratic thinkers share with Dewey the concern that the quality of deliberation in our “democracy” continues to deteriorate, but they assume a restrictive “rationalism” and constricted view of what goes on “in” and “around” deliberation. As important as public deliberation was for Dewey, the “turn” that he hoped for in the philosophy of democracy was towards a view of democracy as experience. (shrink)
Risieri Frondizi was arguably the Latin American philosopher with the strongest personal ties to philosophy in North America. His relation with North American philosophers was key to his philosophical development. Frondizi won a scholarship to do advanced studies at Columbia University in New York. This chapter explores Frondizi's thought and questions whether his philosophy was consonant enough with the core philosophical insights of pragmatism to consider him part of the pragmatist family.