Lebenskünstler

Gregory Pappas – Dewey’s Ethics – Democracy as Experience [Part III]

Posted in Uncategorized by Randall Szott on 05/02/2012

“The foundations of democratic respect are, for Dewey, a certain way of experiencing everything, not an exclusive and abstract regard for human rights or justice that is independent of nature. For the truly democratic character, ‘every existence deserving the name of existence has something unique and irreplaceable about it.’ This is the sort of natural piety that Dewey hoped for as a consequence of abolishing hierarchical ways of looking at the world.”

[quoting Dewey] “…the local is the ultimate universal, and as near an absolute as exists.”

“…a warning against taking the usual abstractions about democratic society as antecedent to the unique, direct, and qualitative relations people hold with each other in situations. It would be more accurate to say that a democratic society is one that is composed of democratic associations than to say that a democratic association is one that exists because of a democratic society.”

“…it is through and by the local that I can acquire this sense of connection with what is beyond it…Democracy must grow from within, that is, from what is local, spontaneous, voluntary, and direct. This includes neighborhood, family, classroom, workplace, and grass-roots movements…we must avoid sacrificing the quality of what is had locally merely for the sake of reach [emphasis mine].”

“Genuine listening, especially of those who speak against our beliefs, does more on behalf of participatory democracy than voting.”

“Local communities must be sustained by loyalty and solidarity while also remaining receptive to continuities within the larger context of a pluralistic society.”

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