Marxism and philosophy

kevin quinn kquinn at
Tue Jan 31 08:32:38 MST 1995

I agree with Justin that Rorty is no reactionary. However, he *is*,
arguably, a misinterpreter of pragmatism and, especially, of Dewey. The
most convincing case made for this is Robert Westbrook's book, John Dewey
and American Democracy. Rorty retains the bathwater of Dewey's
liberalism, but jettison's the baby of his radical democracy. I strongly
disagree that pragmatism as Dewey conceived of it is the "official
American philosophy"--would that it were!! See also, in this regard,
Cornel West's wonderful treatment of pragmatism, The American Evasion of
Philosophy.--Kevin Quinn

On Fri, 27 Jan 1995, Louis N Proyect wrote:

> The question of the role of pragmatism in American politics is an
> interesting one. I would argue that Rorty is not the source of the
> problems in Chicago that Marshall Feldman alluded to. I think that in a
> more general sense pragmatism is the offical American philosophy. John
> Dewey and his cothinkers have had an enormous influence on American
> education and politics in the same way that the Utilitarians affected
> English politics.


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