Dewey: Naturalistic Humanism
It was the intent of the previous chapter to emphasize the importance of Hume's contribution to the development of a framework for a naturalistic political theory expressive of the liberative-emancipative thrust of the early Enlightenment modernism, but a corrective to distortion in the instrumental-utilitarian tradition of classical liberalism. In the foreword to the 1930 Modern Library edition of his book, Human Nature and Conduct, Dewey commented that the volume might be said to be an "essay continuing the tradition of David Hume." While often seen as a writer carrying philosophical skepticism to its limits, Dewey also had a constructive aim, "that a knowledge of human nature provides a map or chart of all human and social subjects, helping us to understand the complexities of the phenomena of politics, economics, religions, beliefs, etc." 1 But it will be the contention of this chapter to argue that, if Dewey's naturalistic humanism can be seen as a continuation of the tradition of Hume, it is a far-reaching advancement beyond what Hume was able to envisage in the context of his time, and a corrective to difficulties in his
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Publication information: Book title: Toward a Naturalistic Political Theory:Aristotle, Hume, Dewey, Evolutionary Biology, and Deep Ecology. Contributors: Terry Hoy - Author. Publisher: Praeger Publishers. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 43.
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