Pushing Social Philosophy to Its Democratic Limits

Contemporary Pragmatism 18 (3):311-324 (2021)
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Abstract

Roberto Frega’s Pragmatism and the Wide View of Democracy reformulates the question of democracy posed by our current historic conjuncture using the resources of a variety of pragmatic thinkers. He brings into the contemporary conversation regarding democracy’s fortunes both classical and somewhat neglected figures in the pragmatic tradition to deal with questions of power, ontology, and politics. In particular, Frega takes a social philosophical starting point and draws out the consequences of this fundamental shift in approach to questions of democratic and political theory. This turn to social philosophy as a theoretically more sufficient conceptual vocabulary, extended in detail by Frega, raises questions regarding the work that a social ontology does in clarifying the role of economic and political approaches to democracy that are worth further exploration. Likewise, the practical proposals for moving beyond methodological nationalism with respect to forming publics for the sake of problem-solving, while providing a clarifying and fresh starting point, are still too beholden to models of agency and expressions of coordinated action that themselves are the very fruit of those systems which undermine democratic power in the first instance.

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Brendan Hogan
New York University

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Abstract.[author unknown] - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (2):299-303.

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