SAAP Annual Meeting 2015

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Toward a justice theory of sustainability at the interface of Deweyan pragmatism and French critical pragmatism

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Despite growing effort to grapple with the concept of sustainability, including considerable work within pragmatic philosophy, we lack a coherent social theory of sustainability as a way of life or mode for organizing societal behaviour. The question at hand in this paper is whether we can see evidence of a commonly accessible root of sustainability as an orientation for a life held in common. We examine the potential utility of the French pragmatic sociology of critique, which has demonstrated affinities with American pragmatic philosophy, to assess this question in different public disputes and social contexts. In order to illustrate the way in which a critical pragmatic approach may assist in determining the potential rise of a new sustainability model of justice, we look at reference to the common good, the dynamics of argumentation, and the scene of struggle in public life, amongst other aspects.


Meg Holden    
Simon Fraser University


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