The Public and Its Problems: An Essay in Political Inquiry

Overview

The revival of interest in pragmatism and its practical relevance for democracy has prompted a reconsideration of John Dewey’s political philosophy. Dewey’s The Public and Its Problems (1927) constitutes his richest and most systematic meditation on the future of democracy in an age of mass communication, governmental bureaucracy, social complexity, and pluralism. Drawing on his previous writings and prefiguring his later thinking, Dewey argues for the importance of civic participation and clarifies the meaning ...

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Overview

The revival of interest in pragmatism and its practical relevance for democracy has prompted a reconsideration of John Dewey’s political philosophy. Dewey’s The Public and Its Problems (1927) constitutes his richest and most systematic meditation on the future of democracy in an age of mass communication, governmental bureaucracy, social complexity, and pluralism. Drawing on his previous writings and prefiguring his later thinking, Dewey argues for the importance of civic participation and clarifies the meaning and role of the state, the proper relationship between the public and experts, and the source of democracy’s legitimacy. These themes remain as important today as they were when Dewey first engaged them, and this is the work to which scholars consistently turn when assessing Dewey’s conception of democracy and what might be imagined for democracy in our own time.

In this carefully annotated edition, Melvin L. Rogers provides an introductory essay that elucidates the philosophical and historical background of The Public and Its Problems while explaining the key ideas of the book. He also provides a biographical outline of Dewey’s life and bibliographical notes to assist student and scholar alike.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271055701
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2012
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 912,311
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Melvin L. Rogers is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Emory University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Chronology ix

Editorial Note xiii

Introduction: Revisiting The Public and Its Problems Melvin L. Rogers 1

The Public and Its Problems: An Essay in Political Inquiry John Dewey 31

Foreword (1927) 33

Introduction (1946) 35

1 Search for the Public 41

2 Discovery of the State 60

3 The Democratic State 81

4 The Eclipse of the Public 101

5 Search for the Great Community 119

6 The Problem of Method 142

Notes 161

Bibliographical Note 177

Index 181

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