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1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
John J. McDermott Editor's Introduction
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2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Marilyn Fischer Reading Dewey’s Political Philosophy through Addams’s Political Compromises
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Both John Dewey and Jane Addams believed that the cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy. While their vision of democracy is rightly called radical, the processes through which they proposed to cure the ills of democracy are in large measure conservative, in the classical, Burkean sense of the term. To show this, I first explain how well their political philosophies line up, particularly their proposals for political reconstruction. I then use Addams’s experiences as a delegate to the 1912 Progressive Party Convention as a test case in real time for Dewey’s proposals for political reconstruction. The compromises she made there demonstrate the Burkean conservative character of the process of pragmatist change, as well as reveal how the tragic resides within pragmatist efforts at social reconstruction.
3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Robert E. Wood Aesthetics: The Complementarity of, and Differences between, John Dewey and Martin Heidegger
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In aesthetics and in philosophy generally, Dewey and Heidegger have many surprising convergences. Both find the contemporary world unsuitable for full human flourishing: Dewey because of the separation of art and religion from everyday life; Heidegger because of the disappearance of the sense of Mystery. Both go back to a time before the problems emerged. Both hold for the intentionality of consciousness, the bodily inhabitance of a common world having priority over a sovereign consciousness, the founding role of language in the life-world, the distinction between the art-product and the working of art upon its audience, the founding role of poetry, and the way a sense of the Whole can open up in the working of art. But Dewey, centering upon the aesthetic as integral experience, underscored its linkage with the rhythmic character of the body interacting with the environment, while Heidegger focused upon the sense of the surrounding Mystery.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Charles Royal Carlson The Return of Experience: Reinterpreting Dewey for Contemporary Evolutionary Biology
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John Dewey provides a philosophy of nature riven with questions of contexted-function, education, ecological balance, and in general an analysis of nature that understands that fixity won’t work, in the pragmatist sense of work, and consequently, that survival necessitates change. In light of the recent flood of evidence showing that epigenetic factors may have a greater role in evolution than previously thought, a re-envisioning of Dewey’s philosophy of nature is warranted. Dewey’s emphasis on the process of the moving parts, rather than the identity of the parts themselves, provides a contrasting view that largely avoids many of the problems of a gene-centric viewpoint and offers an interpretation of Darwin’s evolutionary theory that emphasizes the instrumental factor of experience in a way that is compatible with the findings of epigenetics.
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Jennifer A. Gaffney Evolution, Poetry, and Growth: Dewey’s Romantic Appropriation of the Darwinian Worldview
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This paper challenges the assumption that John Dewey’s appeal to the philosophical significance of evolutionary theory serves primarily to legitimize the sciences. By contrast, I argue that a more careful examination of Dewey’s conception of growth reveals that his appropriation of the Darwinian worldview is fundamentally aesthetic. To give contour to the aesthetic Dewey extracts from Darwinism, I consider several aspects of his thought alongside Friedrich Schlegel’s conception of romantic poetry. This, in turn, helps to illustrate that, for Dewey, the dramatic subsistence involved in evolutionary development yields a natural aesthetic that makes possible his notion of meaningful experience.
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Erin McKenna Democracy and Dewey’s Notion of Religious Experience
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Is Dewey a purely secular philosopher? Is his work on religion and the religious separate and distinct from his social and political views? I think the answer is “yes and no.” For a while now I have thought that what Dewey has to say about religion and the religious is directly related to his overall political project, and this is what I begin to explore in this paper. I believe that while the habits of religion often interfere with democracy, the religious attitude as Dewey defines it is necessary for democracy to work.
7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Jason L. Hills Pragmatism and Phenomenology: A Reconciliation
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Scott Aikin recently claimed that pragmatism and phenomenology are incompatible. Pragmatic naturalism is incompatible with phenomenology’s anti-naturalism. Therefore, pragmatists trying to appropriate insights from phenomenology encounter a dilemma: either reject naturalism and thereby pragmatism, or reject anti-naturalism and thereby phenomenology. I will argue that Aikin’s dilemma is unmerited, especially in the case of John Dewey, because he has misidentified its horns. Given his definition of pragmatic naturalism, the classical pragmatists are neither naturalists nor pragmatists. His discussion of “phenomenology” misconstrues phenomenological method as subjective self-reporting, which hamstrings his assessment of phenomenology and its prospects of reconciliation with pragmatism. I hope to engage and dispel not only Aikin’s dilemma, but also common preconceptions about the intersection of pragmatism and phenomenology. They may be reconciled, although there are antipathies, of which I will discuss Dewey’s principle of continuity.
8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Stuart Rosenbaum Relativism, Pragmatism, and John Dewey
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The charge of relativism is regularly leveled against pragmatists. The best response to this charge appears in the work of John Dewey. Contemporary pragmatists such as Richard Rorty and Hilary Putnam frequently bear the brunt of that charge, although they do not rebut the charge as effectively as does Dewey himself. This essay brings focus to the charge of relativism against pragmatists and turns it aside by recourse to an essay of Dewey’s from 1908 that specifically focuses on issues of knowledge. This essay also explains how what we think of as a priori arts—logic, mathematics, ethics, ontology, etc.—appear differently from the humanizing perspective of pragmatism.
9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Thomas M. Alexander John Dewey’s Uncommon Faith: Understanding “Religious Experience”
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Dewey’s A Common Faith has been variously interpreted, both in terms of its relation to Dewey’s corpus and internally in terms of its leading ideas. I argue for its crucial relevance in understanding Dewey and undertake an analysis of the key idea of “religious experience” as an “attitude of existence.” This distinguishes religious experience from other types of qualitative experience and shows the unique place this concept has for Dewey.
10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 87 > Issue: 2
Books Received
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