The Chicago Pragmatists and American Progressivism

The Chicago Pragmatists and American Progressivism
Author : Andrew Feffer
Publisher : Cornell University Press
Total Pages : 320
Release : 2018-10-18
ISBN 10 : 9781501721472
ISBN 13 : 150172147X
Language : EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Founded in 1894 at a peak of social and industrial turmoil, the Chicago school of pragmatist philosophy is emblematic of the progressive spirit of early twentieth-century America. The Chicago pragmatists under the leadership of John Dewey pursued a close critique of the modern workplace, school, and neighborhood which provided a theoretical base for the progressive reform agenda. Andrew Feffer here provides a richly textured group portrait of Dewey and his colleagues George Herbert Mead and James Hayden Tufts against the backdrop of Chicago's social history. In this nuanced intellectual biography of the Chicago pragmatists, Feffer retraces the story of their personal involvement in reform movements and examines how they revised contemporary political rhetoric and social theory in order to reestablish the foundations of democracy in productive and rewarding work. Drawing on liberal Christian reformist as well as philosophical idealist traditions, the pragmatists advanced a radically humanistic social theory that attacked the regimentation of factory life and demanded the democratization of industry and education. Feffer also gives an account of certain elitist and anti-democratic assumptions of pragmatist theory; he shows, in particular, how progressive reformers inherited the pragmatists' mistrust of the political impulses of the industrial workers they championed.


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