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Inquiry as critique: On the legacy of Deweyan pragmatism for political theory

Festenstein, M. (2002) Inquiry as critique: On the legacy of Deweyan pragmatism for political theory. Political Studies, 49 (4). pp. 730-748. ISSN 0032-3217

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This article provides a critical reconstruction of John Dewey's theory of social and political inquiry. Clearing away some misconceptions about this theory allows us to grasp its practical and political focus, and to see its similarities to other strands of anti-positivist social thought, including hermeneutics and critical theory. I go on to examine the relationship between democratic values and the theory of inquiry. Like recent proponents of discursive conceptions of democracy such as Habermas he sees a connection between democracy and the conditions for rational procedures of problem solving. What connects democracy to inquiry for Dewey is primarily ethical and political, rather than epistemological. The article considers what may be usefully taken from Dewey's conception of social inquiry, without accepting his full ethical agenda.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Politics (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2009 14:01
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2009 14:01
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9248.00339
Status: Published
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1111/1467-9248.00339
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7336

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