John Dewey's Liberalism: Individual, Community, and Self-Development / Edition 3

John Dewey's Liberalism: Individual, Community, and Self-Development / Edition 3

by Daniel Savage
     
 

John Dewey's classical pragmatism, Daniel M. Savage asserts, can be used to provide a self-development-based justification of liberal democracy that shows the current debate between liberal individualism and republican communitarianism to be based largely on a set of pseudoproblems.

            

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Overview

John Dewey's classical pragmatism, Daniel M. Savage asserts, can be used to provide a self-development-based justification of liberal democracy that shows the current debate between liberal individualism and republican communitarianism to be based largely on a set of pseudoproblems.

            

From Dewey's classical pragmatism, Savage derives a conception of individual autonomy that, while meeting all of the criteria for a conception of autonomy, does not, as the dominant Kantian variant does, require transcendence from any particular language community. The Deweyan conception of autonomy that Savage derived from classical pragmatism, in fact, requires that the individual be situated within a context of cultural beliefs. Savage argues that this particular conception of autonomy is necessary if one wants to conceive of life, as communitarians do, as a quest for the good life within a social context.

            

Thus, Savage constructs a conception of autonomy that consists of a set of intellectual virtues, each of which can be understood, like Aristotle's moral virtues, as a mean between two extremes (or vices). The virtue of critical reflection is the mean between the vices of dogmatism on the one hand and philosophical skepticism on the other. The virtue of creative individuality is the mean between the opposing vices of conformity and eccentricity. Finally, the virtue of sociability is the mean between the extremes of docility and rebelliousness.

            

The three virtues together provide a natural method of adapting to change. The method is natural because it is in accord with a continuous cycle of activity—tension/movement/harmony—that is generic to all living things, Dewey's method of adapting to change requires, in both the individual and in the community, the synthesis of integrating and differentiating forces.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780809324101
Publisher:
Southern Illinois University Press
Publication date:
12/28/2001
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
1460L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Pragmatic Instrumentalism1
Pt. 1The Individual
1The Unity of Freedom and Virtue: A Deweyan Conception of Autonomy17
2The Context of Freedom: A Deweyan Conception of the Self40
3The Freedom of Creativity: A Deweyan Conception of Individuality61
Pt. 2The Community
4The Unity of Freedom and Authority: A Deweyan Conception of Social Intelligence93
5The Unity of Freedom and the Good: A Deweyan Justification of Liberalism121
6Cultural Evolution149
Conclusion: The Synthesis of Progress and Tradition176
Notes183
Bibliography205
Index217

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