H. Social Epistemology, Pragmatism & Virtue Theory > Earls' "Young John Dewey’s Relational Concept of Character" Available

Charles Anthony Earls has a newly published paper in *The Pluralist* that utilizes Dewey in "challenging the notion of an autonomous self."

In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph reads,

"ALTHOUGH WE ARE DRIVEN, according to young John Dewey, we are not helpless. We possess the power of self-determination; today we might be more inclined to say self-authorship. Yet, the very notion of autonomy is threatened in postmodern discourse. This was no less true at the end of the nineteenth century than it is today. Most popular conceptions of character involve some notion of an independent core which is enduring, if not stable. But this is precisely the conception of character which is under attack. Even Dewey found such a definition of character too static for his dynamic philosophy. Like an organism in an environment, character exists in its relations to others according to Dewey, and the notion of self as separate from these connections is an abstraction, an empty concept. Thus, from the warfare to achieve unification, to realize the ideal, comes a concept of character in which the individual is essentially inseparable from others and the roles we play in their lives."
October 22, 2008 | Registered CommenterGuy Axtell