Two Quests for Unity: John Dewey, R. G. Collingwood & Transatlantic Idealist Liberalism

Projekt: AvhandlingIndividuellt forskningsprojekt

Forskningsområden

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Idé- och lärdomshistoria

Nyckelord

  • Collingwood, Dewey, Liberalism, Idealism, Praktisk kunskap

Beskrivning

My thesis studies the afterlife of idealism and the progressive new liberalism associated with it in the thought of the American philosopher John Dewey (1859-1952) and the English historian and philosopher Robin George Collingwood (1889-1943). I argue that the aim of Dewey’s and Collingwood’s thought should be understood as quests for unity and claim that these quests were answers to Collingwood’s and Dewey’s conception of the early twentieth century crisis. In response to the political and philosophical aspects of the crisis, they argued for the need of a practical conception of socially engaged philosophy committed to the new liberal notion of the common good.

The attempt to bring about unity of experience had been a central concern for idealist philosophy. Dewey and Collingwood inherited this idea and I claim that their quests for unity must be understood in relation to their common background in idealist philosophy. The political theory associated with British idealism and especially T. H. Green was also a central influence on Dewey’s and Collingwood’s quests. I aim to show that their political thought should be considered a continuation of Green’s attempt to put forward a version of liberalism concerned with social unity that attempted to break down the dichotomy between individual and society. Even as they (especially Dewey) grew increasingly sceptical of idealism, some of its key concepts and ideas remained important to Collingwood and Dewey through out their lives. Studying their thought in relation to idealism should therefore help us to better understand the afterlife of idealism as well as giving us a better understanding of inter-war era liberalism.

Keywords: John Dewey, Robin George Collingwood, liberalism, idealism, practical knowledge, intellectual history

Populärvetenskaplig beskrivning

Denna studie argumenterar för att enhet (unity) bör förstås som det övergripande målet i den amerikanske pragmatisten John Dewey och den brittiske historikern och filosofen Robin George Collingwoods tänkande. Med detta avses dels viljan att föra olika kunskapsformer som historia, religion, politik, filosofi och naturvetenskap närmare varandra, dels en strävan efter att överbrygga filosofiska dualismer som kropp-själ, individ-samhälle, förnuft-känsla, teori-praktik. Deras intellektuella projekt hämtar inspiration från den filosofiska idealismen och den politiska liberalismen, och ska förstås som ett svar på diverse kristendenser som aktualiserades under mellankrigstiden.
Kort titelTwo Quests for Unity
StatusPågående
Gällande start-/slutdatum2016/09/012021/09/01

Participants