Genealogical Pragmatism: How History Matters for Foucault and Dewey

Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (3):533-561 (2011)
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This article offers the outlines of a historically-informed conception of critical inquiry herein named genealogical pragmatism. This conception of critical inquiry combines the genealogical emphasis on problematization featured in Michel Foucault's work with the pragmatist emphasis on reconstruction featured in John Dewey's work. The two forms of critical inquiry featured by these thinkers are not opposed, as is too commonly supposed. Genealogical problematization and pragmatist reconstruction fit together for reason of their mutual emphasis on the importance of history for philosophy. In so fitting together they repair crucial deficits in both traditions as they currently stand on their own. The resulting conception of critical inquiry as simultaneously problematizational and reconstructive is offered as a first step toward a crucial philosophical task we face today: articulating normativity without foundations



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Colin Koopman
University of Oregon

References found in this work

Historical Ontology.Ian Hacking - 2002 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Foucault on Freedom and Truth.Charles Taylor - 1984 - Political Theory 12 (2):152-183.
Historical Ontology.Mary Tjiattas - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (1):136-138.
Method, Social Science, and Social Hope.Richard Rorty - 1981 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 11 (4):569 - 588.

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