Pragmatism and Political Theory
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Pragmatism and Political Theory

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This exciting new book is the first comprehensive and critical study of the relationship between the Pragmatist tradition and political theory. Festenstein provides a fresh assessment of the Pragmatist tradition, arguing that a proper view of it deepens our understanding of democratic politics and the foundations of moral and political theory.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 248 pages
  • 159 x 226 x 14mm | 384g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745616275
  • 9780745616278
  • 1,452,729

Back cover copy

This exciting new book is the first comprehensive and criticalstudy of the relationship between the Pragmatist tradition andpolitical theory.

Festenstein provides a fresh and timely assessment of thePragmatist tradition, arguing that a proper view of it deepens ourunderstanding of democratic politics and the foundations of moraland political theory. The author develops this approach through adetailed and original reading of the work of four key thinkers, John Dewey, Richard Rorty, Jürgen Habermas and HilaryPutnam.

The author argues that two clusters of problems are central topragmatist political philosophy: the objectivity of politicalmorality, and the theoretical foundations of democratic community.In the context of these issues the book provides an interpretationof pragmatist political theory and assesses its adequacy. Theresult is a lucid interpretation which establishes the continuingrelevance of Pragmatism in contemporary debates in philosophy andpolitical theory.

Pragmatism and Political Theory will be invaluablereading for students in philosophy, ethics, politics theory and thehistory of political thought.
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Table of contents

List of Abbreviations. Introduction. Part I: Dewey's Political Philosophy:. 1. Interpreting Dewey's Political Thought. 2. Pragmatism in the Moral Life. 3. Individuality and Democracy. Part II: New Pragmatisms:. 4. An Overview. 5. Ethnocentrism and Irony. 6. Reconstructions. Conclusion. Notes. Index.
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Review quote

"This is a splendid contribution to the lively conversation about the vitality of the pragmatic legacy, and a sympathetic, lucid, critical reconstruction of Dewey's political philosophy showing how his understanding of democracy is grounded in our moral life." Professor Richard J. Bernstein, New School for Social Research "Pragmatism has been vigorously revived in philosophy, and Matthew Festenstein's book provides an exemplary and thoroughgoing account of its implications for political theory." Raymond Plant, St Catherine's College, Oxford "An interesting study which lives up to its own pretensions: to be a non-exhaustive, yet fresh look at a tradition which deserves attention from political theorists." Acta Politica
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About Matthew Festenstein

Matthew Festenstein is Lecturer in Politics at the University of Hull.
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