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Universität zu Köln

Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät

Dewey-Center Köln

Perspectives Of Pragmatism

Questions

The idea behind the questions is explained here! 

 

Each expert has been given the following quotations and ideas to make her/his comments on video

 

1. Universalism/Contextualism

»Habits of speech, including syntax and vocabulary, and modes of interpretation have been formed in the face of inclusive and defining situations of context ... We are not explicitly aware of the role of context just because our every utterance is so saturated with it that it forms the significance of what we say and hear ... Now thought lives, moves, and has its being in and through symbols, and, therefore, depends for meaning upon context as do the symbols ... I should venture to assert that the most pervasive fallacy of philosophic thinking goes back to neglect of context.« (LW 6: 4-5)

2. Re/de/constructions:

Construction (experience)

»I have used the word construction" to denote "the creative mind, the mind that is genuinely productive in its operations. We are given to associating creative mind with persons regarded as rare and unique, like geniuses. But every individual is in his own way unique. Each one experiences life from a different angle than anybody else, and consequently has something distinctive to give others if he can turn his experiences into ideas and pass them on to others.« (LW 5: 127)

Reconstruction (habit)

»There is no one among us who is not called upon to face honestly and courageously the equipment of beliefs, religious, political, artistic, economic, that has come to him in all sorts of indirect and uncriticized ways, and to inquire how much of it is validated and verified in present need, opportunity, and application.« (LW 5: 142)

Deconstruction (criticism)

»Creative activity is our great need; but criticism, self-criticism, is the road to its release.« (LW 5: 143)

»We cannot permanently divest ourselves of the intellectual habits we take on and wear when we assimilate the culture of our own time and place. But intelligent furthering of culture demands that we take some of them off, that we inspect them critically to see what they are made of and what wearing them does to us« (LW 1: 40)

3. Truth and Warranted Assertions (Experimentalism)

»... the term ‘warranted assertion' s preferred to the terms belief and knowledge. It is free from the ambiguity of these latter terms, and it involves reference to inquiry as that which warrants assertion« (LW 12: 17)

4. Experience and the Real

»... the question ... is what the real is. If natural existence is qualitatively individualized or genuinely plural, as well as repetitious, and if things have both temporal quality and recurrence or uniformity, then the more realistic knowledge is, the more fully it will reflect and exemplify these traits« (LW 1: 127)

5. Experience and Language

»If existence in its immediacies could speak it would proclaim: ‘I may have relatives but I am not related.' In aesthetic objects, that is in all immediately enjoyed and suffered things, in things directly possessed, they thus speak for themselves.« (LW 1: 75f)

6. Communication and Participation

»Of all affairs, communication is the most wonderful. That things should be able to pass from the plane of external pushing and pulling to that of revealing themselves to man, and thereby to themselves; and that the fruit of communication should be participation, sharing, is a wonder by the side of which transubstantiation pales.« (LW 1: 132)

»Communication is the process of creating participation, of making common what had been isolated and singular; and part of the miracle it achieves is that, in being communicated, the conveyance of meaning gives body and definiteness to the experience of the one who utters as well as to that of those who listen« (LW 10: 248f).

7. Democracy (Liberalism and Socialism)

»The end of democracy is a radical end. For it is an end that has not been adequately realized in any country at any time. It is radical because it requires great change in existing social institutions, economic, legal and cultural.« (LW 11: 298f)

8. Democracy (Experience and Education)

»Democracy is the faith that the process of experience is more important than any special result attained, so that special results achieved are of ultimate value only as they are used to enrich and order the ongoing process. Since the process of experience is capable of being educative, faith in democracy is all one with faith in experience and education.« (LW 14: 229)

9. Democracy (Culture and the Power of Imagination)

»Imagination is the chief instrument of the good" (LW 10: 350), because only "imaginative vision elicits the possibilities that are interwoven within the texture of the actual.« (LW 10: 348)

10. Democracy (Intelligence and Local Communities)

»In a word, that expansion and reinforcement of personal understanding and judgment by the cumulative and transmitted intellectual wealth of the community which may render nugatory the indictment of democracy drawn on the basis of the ignorance, bias and levity of the masses, can be fulfilled only in the relations of personal intercourse in the local community ... Vision is a spectator; hearing is a participator ... We lie, as Emerson said, in the lap of an immense intelligence. But that intelligence is dormant and its communications are broken, inarticulate and faint until it possesses the local community as its medium.« (LW 2: 371f)

11. Education as Growth

»Since growth is the characteristic of life, education is all one with growing; it has no end beyond itself. The criterion of the value of school education is the extent in which it creates a desire for continued growth and supplies means for making the desire effective in fact.« (MW 9: 58)

(Special question to the scholar)