Can Pragmatists be Institutionalists? John Dewey Joins the Non-ideal/Ideal Theory Debate

Human Studies 33 (1):65-84 (2010)
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Abstract

During the 1960s and 1970s, institutionalists and behavioralists in the discipline of political science argued over the legitimacy of the institutional approach to political inquiry. In the discipline of philosophy, a similar debate concerning institutions has never taken place. Yet, a growing number of philosophers are now working out the institutional implications of political ideas in what has become known as “non-ideal theory.” My thesis is two-fold: (1) pragmatism and institutionalism are compatible and (2) non-ideal theorists, following the example of pragmatists, can avoid a similar debate as took place between institutionalists and behavioralists by divulging their assumptions about institutions.

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Shane Ralston
University of Ottawa (PhD)

Citations of this work

Jane Addams and John Dewey.Shane J. Ralston - 2022 - In Patricia Shields, Maurice Hamington & Joseph Soeters (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Jane Addams. Oxford UK: Oxford University Press.
Deweyan Pragmatism and the Challenge of Institutionalizing Justice under Transitional Circumstances.Shane J. Ralston - 2021 - Eidos: Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad Del Norte 31 (1):78-110.
Dewey and Hayek on Democratic Experimentalism.Shane J. Ralston - 2012 - Contemporary Pragmatism 9 (2):93-116.

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References found in this work

The idea of justice.Amartya Sen - 2009 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
A defense of abortion.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1971 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1):47-66.

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