_John Dewey and Continental Philosophy_ provides a rich sampling of exchanges that could have taken place long ago between the traditions of American pragmatism and continental philosophy had the lines of communication been more open between Dewey and his European contemporaries. Since they were not, Paul Fairfield and thirteen of his colleagues seek to remedy the situation by bringing the philosophy of Dewey into conversation with several currents in continental philosophical thought, from post-Kantian idealism and the work of Friedrich Nietzsche (...) to twentieth-century phenomenology, hermeneutics, and poststructuralism. This unique volume includes discussions comparing and contrasting Dewey with the German philosophers G. W. F. Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and Hans-Georg Gadamer on such topics as phenomenology, naturalism, organicism, contextualism, and poetry. Others investigate a series of connections between Dewey and contemporary French philosophy, including the notions of subjectivity, education, and the critique of modernity in Michel Foucault; language and politics in Jacques Derrida; and the concept of experience in Gilles Deleuze. Also discussed is the question of whether we can identify traces of _Bildung_ in Dewey’s writings on education, and pragmatism’s complex relation to twentieth-century phenomenology and hermeneutics, including the problematic question of whether Heidegger was a pragmatist in any meaningful sense. Presented in intriguing pairings, these thirteen essays offer different approaches to the material that will leave readers with much to deliberate. _ John Dewey and Continental Philosophy_ demonstrates some of the many connections and opportunities for cross-traditional thinking that have long existed between Dewey and continental thought, but have been under-explored. The intersection presented here between Dewey’s pragmatism and the European traditions makes a significant contribution to continental and American philosophy and will spur new and important developments in the American philosophical debate. (shrink)
Democratic speech is not the altogether orchestrated and well-regulated affair that deliberative democrats and others describe it as being or capable of becoming. In democratic speech we encounter not only oases of genuine public deliberation but rhetoric, desire, struggle, will to power, mythology, and communicative incompetence. All of this is no less of the essence of democratic speech than its nobler aspect and is found everywhere that democratic institutions exist or have ever existed. This modest phenomenology undertakes a broad and (...) impressionistic account of democratic discourse, highlighting themes that are at once fundamental and largely unremarked. My aims in doing so are both critical and reconstructive: the critical aim is to expose the unreality of democratic idealism in both its theoretical and popular manifestations, while the reconstructive aim is to sketch the outline of a democratic ontology in which speech holds center stage. If speech is the lifeblood of democratic politics, we shall misunderstand our own democratic commitment for as long as we misconceive the real workings, dynamics, and conditions of democratic speech. I shall argue that the rhetorical dimension of political speech is not a contingency, but belongs to its fundamental structure. (shrink)
From Nietzsche's pronouncement that "God is dead" to Camus' argument that suicide is the fundamental question of philosophy, the concept of death plays an important role in existential phenomenology, reaching from Kierkegaard to Heidegger and Marcel. This book explores the phenomenology of death and offers a unique way into the phenomenological tradition. Paul Fairfield examines the following key topics: the modern denial of death Heidegger's important concept of 'being-toward-death' and its centrality in phenomenological ideas, such as authenticity and existence the (...) philosophical significance of death rituals: what explains the imperative toward ritual around death, and what is its purpose and meaning? death in an age of secularism the philosophy and ethics of suicide death as a mystery rather than a philosophical problem to be solved the relationship between hope and death. Death: A Philosophical Inquiry is essential reading for students of phenomenology and existentialism, and will also be of interest to students in related fields such as religion, anthropology and the medical humanities. (shrink)
Whether liberalism may incorporate a strongly situated conception of the self is the main question posed in this paper. That it may, and in so doing counter an important element of the communitarian critique of liberalism, is its central thesis. Drawing primarily upon the work of Paul Ricoeur and John Dewey, I articulate and defend a conception of the self as a narrated and self-narrating agent. Moral selfhood is properly conceived as at once socially constituted and, in keeping with liberalism, (...) capable of critical distantiation from the traditions and forms of community life within which it stands. (shrink)
In Public/Private, Fairfield examines the ethical-political significance as well as the policy implications of a right to privacy. Discussing the different applications of privacy laws, technology,property, relationships, Fairfield writes in a style accessible to specialists and students alike.