Philosophy Faculty Publications

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Book Chapter

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Feminist Interpretations of John Dewey


This essay is a response to Seigfried's invitation to explore historical writings of women within the pragmatist tradition. In the first part, I show how Dewey's and Addams's shared appreciation of evolutionary perspectives, concrete experience, context, and sympathetic understanding led them to similar conceptions of social democracy and similar critiques of industrial capitalism. In Part II, I explain how Addams's critique of industrial capitalism goes beyond Dewey's in explicitly linking capitalism With philanthropy as then practiced, and criticizing both as patriarchal. In Part III, I compare Addams's account to that of socialist feminists, and show that while there are clear differences in their accounts, there are also many affinities.1

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Pennsylvania State University Press

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University Park, PA