Chapter 9 Confucianism and Deweyan Pragmatism

A Dialogue

In: John Dewey and Chinese Education
Roger T. AMES
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In rethinking the concept of persons, Dewey retrofits familiar terms in unfamiliar ways-individuality, democracy, experience, equality, personality, and so on. And in this process offers a unique understanding of the lives of irreducibly social persons that is such a radical departure from the received tradition it has taken philosophers some half a century to grasp. This relationally-constituted notion of “individuality” resonates importantly with one of the most prominent ideas in Confucian philosophy: the aesthetic project of learning to become consummately human captured in the term ren. Dewey and Confucianism can again be compared on their understanding of an “a-theistic” human-centered conception of religiousness that makes no appeal to the conventional understanding of a supernatural Supreme Being.

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  • Introduction A Centennial Reflection on Dewey’s Visit of China


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