SAAP Annual Meeting 2013

Papers Proceedings »

Political Naturalism, or the Humanism of John Dewey

View File

Jady Hsin
The Johns Hopkins University
United States

As late as the 1940s John Dewey had forsworn the word ‘humanism’ in description of his philosophy as less adequate than his preferred ‘naturalism’. His dislike of ‘humanism’, he explained, was due to the ‘subjectivistic turn’ F.C.S. Schiller had given it, and its tendency to isolate humankind from the rest of nature – hence his preference for ‘naturalism’. In this paper, however, I claim that this reluctance, somewhat misplaced, has obscured how near he stood to F.C.S. Schiller’s humanism, and that his mature view of cultural naturalism can be seen rather as a consequence of the humanism implicit in his writings, in much the same sense as Schiller had urged, though rested upon a different assumption of fact. I conclude, then, by observing that this approach – a political naturalism – is not only a sensible way of construing Dewey’s writings, but is worthy of reconsideration in its own right.


Powered by OpenConf®
Copyright ©2002-2012 Zakon Group LLC