Abstract/Details

Rethinking liberalism: A comparative study of the moral and political philosophies of John Dewey and Alasdair MacIntyre


2006 2006

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Liberal democracy is the most prevalent political paradigm in the Western world. In my dissertation, I examine the contribution that John Dewey (1859–1952) and Alasdair MacIntyre (1929– ), both critical of contemporary liberalism, have to make to our understanding of this paradigm. This project attempts to answer a two-part question: What is wrong with contemporary liberalism and who, between Dewey and MacIntyre, offers a better prescription for its ills? My answer to this question is worked out over three chapters. In chapter one I examine the divergent genealogies of contemporary liberalism offered by Dewey and MacIntyre. I find that Dewey and MacIntyre are not opposed to liberalism as such. Rather, both are extremely critical of a particular form of liberalism; namely, that version which cultivates laissez faire individualism. In chapter two I provide a thorough examination of their understandings of human individuality and conditions which allow for human flourishing. This analysis shows that Dewey and MacIntyre do not fit neatly into the category of communitarian or contemporary liberal. I argue that they are cultivating an unconventional vision of individualism, what might be termed a social liberalism. In chapter three I turn to those points where the moral and political theories of Dewey and MacIntyre are clearly at odds. An analysis of their conceptions of teleology and social inquiry highlights the disparity. In the end, I side with Dewey. I conclude that Dewey's self-correcting, experimental inquiry is more ameliorative and effectual than MacIntyre's Thomistic tradition-guided inquiry and thus stands as a better preliminary prescription for the ills of contemporary liberalism.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Philosophy
Classification
0422: Philosophy
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology; Dewey, John; Liberalism; MacIntyre, Alasdair; Moral philosophies; Political philosophy; Pragmatism
Title
Rethinking liberalism: A comparative study of the moral and political philosophies of John Dewey and Alasdair MacIntyre
Author
McBride, Lee A., III
Number of pages
117
Publication year
2006
Degree date
2006
School code
0183
Source
DAI-A 68/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780549048695
Advisor
Seigfried, Charlene Haddock
University/institution
Purdue University
University location
United States -- Indiana
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3263605
ProQuest document ID
305283882
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305283882/abstract
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.