The Chicago Pragmatists and American Progressivism by Andrew FefferThe Chicago Pragmatists and American Progressivism by Andrew Feffer

The Chicago Pragmatists and American Progressivism

byAndrew Feffer

Hardcover | May 27, 1993

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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.

Andrew Feffer is Assistant Professor of History at Union College in Schenectady, New York.
Title:The Chicago Pragmatists and American ProgressivismFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.06 inPublished:May 27, 1993Publisher:Cornell University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801425026

ISBN - 13:9780801425028

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Editorial Reviews

"In this superb book, Andrew Feffer has provided us with the best account we have of this school and its thought and has placed the work of the Chicago philosophers in a set of illuminating contexts.... An important addition to a growing and increasingly sophisticated literature on pragmatism and its possibilities."

- Robert B. Westbrook - History of Education Quarterly