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ERIC Number: EJ912439
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4908
Reconstruction in Dewey's Pragmatism: Home, Neighborhood, and Otherness
Saito, Naoko
Education and Culture, v25 n2 Article 10 2009
The purpose of this paper, states the author, is to revive and reconstruct John Dewey's pragmatism so that it becomes an alerting and inspiring voice in response to the nihilistic crisis of today's democracy and education. In other words this is a Deweyan task of reconstruction in philosophy, and it prompts the present endeavor in the continuing critical reception of the inheritance of American pragmatism. First, the author discusses a hidden (or forgotten) dimension--the Emersonian perfectionist dimension--as a potentially helpful way of enhancing pragmatism's potential today. She highlights three ethical modes of relation to others--open-mindedness, friendship, and sympathy--that Dewey proposes as crucial conditions for achieving democracy, starting at home, expanding outwards. Second, she examines a critical point that tests the limits of Dewey's pragmatism--critical in the sense that his own language can slide into the assimilatory discourse of globalization. In particular his theory of face-to-face communication is destabilized in the light of the Emersonian perfectionist notion of conversation, with its implications for the place of the eccentric within a culture (which turns out, in any case, to be cultures). The nature of this critical boundary is elucidated as a repression in Dewey's pragmatism. Finally, the author points to a way beyond the limits of Dewey's pragmatism--beyond problem solving, towards dissolution--in order to inherit the asset that it offers to contemporary democracy and education. (Contains 64 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A