Freedom in View? The Critical Theory of John Dewey

International Workshop

Critical social theories are generally understood to be distinct from other normative theories by their explicit orientation towards emancipation: They not only inquire into the actualized freedom of a given form of social life, but claim to point towards a “freedom in view” ¬– an end that might aid those participating in social struggles. John Dewey’s experimentalist social theory cherishes this very ideal of social inquiry. It contributes to a critical social research in a variety of ways, some of which, so we believe, are still to be discovered. It is, however, rarely discussed explicitly as a critical theory or in the context of other traditions of social critique, as exemplified by the Frankfurt School. This workshop aspires to investigate from different angles John Dewey’s contributions to critical social theory.

17-18 April 2015

Institut für Sozialforschung
Senckenberganlage 26
60325 Frankfurt am Main

Presented by:
Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders" and Institute for Social Research


Welcoming address by professor Axel Honneth and the organizing committee

9:30 Panel 1: The Art of Critique (Chair: Just Serrano)

9:30 – 10:15 Thomas Schmidt (Frankfurt)
“‘Criticism is Judgment’: Perception and Normativity in Dewey’s Concept of Critical Judgment”

10:15 – 11:00 Arto Laitinen (Tampere)
“Habits, Traditions of Inquiry, and Determinate Ought”

11:15 – 12:00 Arvi Särkelä (Frankfurt/Lucerne)
“Immanent Critique as Self-Transformative Praxis”

12:00 Lunch

13:30 Panel 2: Nature and Social Critique (Chair: Arvi Särkelä)

13:30 – 14:15 Italo Testa (Parma)
“The Authority of Life: The Critical Task of Dewey’s Habit Ontology”

14:15 – 15:00 Federica Gregoratto (Frankfurt)
“The Nature of Gender: A Deweyan Approach to the Problem of the Sex/Gender Distinction “

15:00 Coffee break

15:30 Panel 3: Democracy and Its Problems (Chair: Federica Gregoratto)

15:30 – 16:15 Dirk Jörke (Darmstadt)
“From Democratic Theory to Democratic Socialism (and Reverse)”

16:15 – 17:00 Justo Serrano (Frankfurt)
“The Logic of Mobilization: Exploring the Democratic Value of Situated Inquiries”

20:00 Dinner in Mezzanotte, Leipziger Straße

Saturday, April 18th
9:00 Panel 4: Traditions of Critique (Chair: Just Serrano)

9:00 – 9:45 Andreas Hetzel (Darmstadt)
“Praxis and Experience: Dewey's Critical Theory”

9:45 - 10:30 Roberto Frega (IMM-CNRS, Paris)
“John Dewey’s Two Projects of Social Philosophy”

10:30 Coffee Break

11:00 Panel 5: Critique, Norms and Ideals (Chair: Federica Gregoratto)

11:00 – 11:45 Martin Hartmann (Lucerne)
“Can a Pragmatic Ethics Be merely Procedural?”

11:45 – 12:30 Annette Pitschmann (Salzburg)
“Towards an Unideological Understanding of Ideals: Dewey on the Structure of Ends-in-View”

12:30 Lunch

13:30 Panel 6: Work, Economy and Praxis (Chair: Arvi Särkelä)

13:30 – 14:15 Emmanuel Renault (Paris Ouest)
“Dewey and His Critical Conception of Work”

14:15 – 15:00 Judith Green (Fordham, New York), “Emancipating Piketty’s Pragmatist Political Economy: Deweyan Critical  Pragmatists as Partners in Paradigm Shift”

15:00 Coffee break

15:30 Final discussion

Federica Gregoratto, Axel Honneth, Arvi Särkelä, Justo Serrano

Programme (pdf): click here...

Poster (pdf): click here...


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