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The Making of Modern Liberalism$
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Alan Ryan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691148403

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691148403.001.0001

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Pragmatism, Social Identity, Patriotism, and Self-Criticism

Pragmatism, Social Identity, Patriotism, and Self-Criticism

(p.473) 24 Pragmatism, Social Identity, Patriotism, and Self-Criticism
The Making of Modern Liberalism

Alan Ryan

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the interrelationships between John Dewey's educational ideals, his philosophy more broadly, and his account of American identity. It considers the background of Dewey's discussion of “Americanization” and his philosophical account of national identity; Dewey's pragmatism, with its emphasis on the sociality of thought and individuality; and his distinction of good and bad nationalism. It also places Dewey's ideas in their American political context by contrasting them with those of some other pluralist writers of the period of World War I. The contrast is between Dewey's conception of identity and that of German philosophy of the 1920s and 1930s. The contrast is interesting inasmuch as it is sometimes said that Dewey and Martin Heidegger held similarly nonfoundationalist views of philosophy, held similarly skeptical views about traditional metaphysics, and in a sense agreed that philosophy had become the criticism of culture.

Keywords:   education, John Dewey, philosophy, Americanization, national identity, pragmatism, sociality, individuality, nationalism, Martin Heidegger

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