Roberto Unger, in an essay called Science and Politics between a domesticated and radicalised Pragmatism says:

The philosophical heroes of Domesticated Pragmatism are Wittgenstein and Dewey, interpreted to remove from their ideas whatever was shadowy and subversive...[which] in turn leads to a conservative anti-philosophical philosophy, and an anti-political politics; remitting us to a worshipful acceptance of established practises

In Wittgenstein, one shadowy element is his mysticism and his ascetism.

What are these elements that are shadowy and subversive in Dewey? How does one paint Dewey in chiarscuro?

1 Answer 1


The idea of educating all ignorant members of society is not pragmatic.

Dewey's statement "Democracy and the one, ultimate, ethical ideal of humanity are to my mind synonymous." is at odds with Unger's valued "global perspective" in that ignorant voters exist.

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    Has anyone seriously suggested this? People and vocations are various; and hence education needs to be various too. Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 13:10
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    In the West as far as I know schooling is compulsory; are you suggesting that this is neither rational, nor pragmatic? Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 13:12
  • @MoziburUllah Education insofar as it means passing time along with examinations in an institution is inferior to experience in efficacy of displacing ignorance, in my opinion. So while schooling is compulsory it may not include any real philosophy whatsoever. Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 13:46

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