The Undiscovered Dewey: Religion, Morality, and the Ethos of Democracy

Kobo ebook | December 30, 2008

byMelvin L. Rogers

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The Undiscovered Dewey explores the profound influence of evolution and its corresponding ideas of contingency and uncertainty on John Dewey's philosophy of action, particularly its argument that inquiry proceeds from the uncertainty of human activity. Dewey separated the meaningfulness of inquiry from a larger metaphysical story concerning the certainty of human progress. He then connected this thread to the way in which our reflective capacities aid us in improving our lives. Dewey therefore launched a new understanding of the modern self that encouraged intervention in social and natural environments but which nonetheless demanded courage and humility because of the intimate relationship between action and uncertainty.

Melvin L. Rogers explicitly connects Dewey's theory of inquiry to his religious, moral, and political philosophy. He argues that, contrary to common belief, Dewey sought a place for religious commitment within a democratic society sensitive to modern pluralism. Against those who regard Dewey as indifferent to moral conflict, Rogers points to Dewey's appreciation for the incommensurability of our ethical commitments. His deep respect for modern pluralism, argues Rogers, led Dewey to articulate a negotiation between experts and the public so that power did not lapse into domination. Exhibiting an abiding faith in the reflective and contestable character of inquiry, Dewey strongly engaged with the complexity of our religious, moral, and political lives.

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The Undiscovered Dewey explores the profound influence of evolution and its corresponding ideas of contingency and uncertainty on John Dewey's philosophy of action, particularly its argument that inquiry proceeds from the uncertainty of human activity. Dewey separated the meaningfulness of inquiry from a larger metaphysical story conc...

Melvin L. Rogers is assistant professor of philosophy at Emory University, where he teaches political theory.

other books by Melvin L. Rogers

The Public and Its Problems
The Public and Its Problems

Kobo ebook|Nov 15 2016

$16.19 online$20.98list price(save 22%)
Format:Kobo ebookPublished:December 30, 2008Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231516169

ISBN - 13:9780231516167

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Introduction
Part I: From Certainty to Contingency
1. Protestant Self-Assertion and Spiritual Sickness
2. Agency and Inquiry After Darwin
Part II: Religion, the Moral Life, and Democracy
3. Faith and Democratic Piety
4. Within the Space of Moral Reflection
5. Constraining Elites and Managing Power
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

Roger's book is a welcome addition to the literature on Dewey? suitable for suggested reading on syllabi for advanced undergraduate and graduate students.