Since 9/11, citizens of all nations have been searching for a democratic public philosophy that provides practical and inspiring answers to the problems of the twenty-first century. Drawing on the wisdom of past and present pragmatist thinkers, Judith M. Green maps a contemporary form of citizenship that emphasizes participation and cooperation and reclaims the critical role of social movements and nongovernmental organizations. Starting with empowering processes of storytelling, truth and reconciliation, and collaborative vision-questing that allow individuals to give voice and (...) new meaning to their loss, anxiety, and hope, Green frames cooperative inquiries to guide transformative actions. From this "second strand" of the democratic experience, leaders and participating citizens can help to shape a more desirable democratic future. In dialogue with Richard Rorty, Judith Butler, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr., Elie Wiesel, Viktor Frankl, Cornel West, and other contemporary thinkers, Green defines the need for deeper understanding and fulfillment of the potentials of the democratic ideal. Drawing insights from Thomas Jefferson, Walt Whitman, William James, John Dewey, Jane Adams, and other earlier thinkers, Green frames a pragmatist understanding of emerging realities and possibilities, growing wells of shared truths, multifaceted histories, and mutually transformative experiences of citizenship. Employing examples from America's complex history and from recent world events, Green locates four sites for effective citizen activism: government at all levels, nonprofit organizations, issue-focused campaigns and social movements, and daily urban living. Green shows how citizens can revive social hope and deepen the democratic experience by drawing on their own knowledge and developing their capabilities through inclusive civic participation. (shrink)
Deeply understood, democracy is more than a "formal" institutional framework for which America provides the model, acting as a preferable alternative to the modern totalitarian regimes that have distorted social life around the world. At its core, as John Dewey understood, democracy is a realistic ideal, a desired and desirable future possibility that is yet-to-be. In this period of global crises in differing cultures, a shared environment, and an increasingly globalized political economy, this book provides a clear contemporary articulation of (...) deep democracy that can guide an evolutionary deepening of democratic institutions, of habits of the heart, and of the processes of education and social inquiry that support them. (shrink)
While rooted in careful study of Mead’s original writings and transcribed lectures and the historical context in which that work was carried out, the papers in this volume have brought Mead’s work to bear on contemporary issues in metaphysics, epistemology, cognitive science, and social and political philosophy.
Diversity is both an unavoidable aspect of twenty-first century living and a powerful challenge to older philosophical traditions that still assume as normatively universal a set of values, ways of thinking, institutions, and habits of living that emerged within earlier eras of more homogeneous cultures, less developed technologies, and more accepted forms of linguistic, legal, religious, economic, political, and military domination. Within recent years, new styles of philosophical discourse, including deconstruction, postmodernism, feminism, post-colonialism, and critical race theory, have persuasively challenged (...) these universalistic assumptions to reveal the important human differences they marginalize. Experience-based appreciation of the mutually educative potential of diverse standpoints as well as sober concern about the perils of our present times have led many thinkers to look for contemporary forms of pragmatism and cosmopolitanism as hospitable intellectual gathering places for urgently needed cross-difference conversations that may reflect and give substance to shared visions of democratic diversity. The eight authors in this volume engage in cross-difference conversations with other thinkers from earlier periods and other philosophical traditions, as well as with each other, in order to reconstruct pragmatism and cosmopolitanism in ways that are more attuned to our lived experience of diversity as well as our hopes for a diversity-appreciating democratic future. (shrink)
In its comprehensive overview of Alain Locke's pragmatist philosophy this book captures the radical implications of Locke's approach within pragmatism, the critical temper embedded in Locke's works, the central role of power and empowerment of the oppressed and the concept of broad democracy Locke employed.
Richard J. Bernstein, who has played a leading role in "the pragmatist turn" in contemporary philosophy, replies to twelve younger critics in a lively conversation about pragmatism's past, present, and future as a guiding paradigm for philosophy and related fields.
The present worldwide ecological crisis challenges both some fundamental Western cultural assumptions about human relationships to nature and the efficacy of democratic institutions in transforming these relationships appropriately and in a timely manner. I discuss what kind of ecophilosophy is most feasible and desirable in guiding rapid and effective response to the present crisis in the short term, as well as positive cultural transformation in the West toward sound natural and social ecology in the longer term. I argue that decontextualized (...) liberal ecophilosophies and related deep ecologies are inadequate to these purposes and propose a Green transformative framework that “re-places” humans within nature, “re-positions” our understanding of ourselves in relation to the land, “re-pairs” intrinsic values in nature with human responsibilities, and “re-directs” the effective use of participatory democratic institutions in transforming public policy. (shrink)
The passing of Richard Rorty is an event to mark in the annals of American philosophy - the passing of a spirit-guide to some, and of a dark shadow to others, but certainly that of an original, iconoclastic thinker who brought classical American pragmatism back into the contemporary philosophical conversation, and who got philosophers telling stories of achieving a long-loved dream of democracy. I outline a twelve-point agenda for productive future philosophical wrangles with Rorty, highlighting his metaphysical nominalism, antireligious ironism, (...) and "Western bourgeois liberal democracy.". (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: Why are Pluralism and Deliberative Democracy Important Now? The Current Stage of Deliberative Democratic Theorizing Some Pragmatist Suggestions About Deliberative Democracy.
Feminist critics have charged that Aristotle's mistaken and harmful remarks about women and slaves show inconsistency or bias-driven arbitrariness. However, this analysis shows that these remarks function within a consistent and coherent theoretical corpus. Thus, both Aristotle's hierarchical and dualistic first principles and the methodology on which his entire corpus is based must be unreliable. Moreover, consistency and coherence must be insufficient warrants of theoretical insightfulness. Aristotle's mistakes suggest caveats for feminist philosophical reconstruction.