John Dewey, Nonhuman Agency, and the Possibility of a Posthuman Public

In: Contemporary Pragmatism
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This article re-visits the critiques of anthropocentricism levied against John Dewey by his contemporaries and offers a reading of this critique through the lens of nonhuman agency using the theoretical work of Bruno Latour and Jane Bennett, particularly the latter’s coverage of Dewey’s theory of democracy. This work culminates into an argument for envisioning Dewey’s publics as constituted by human and nonhuman bodies, anticipating in some ways the work of contemporary posthumanists and new materialists. This leads us to not only re-think Dewey’s typecasting as unabashedly anthropocentric but also reinvigorates the use value of Dewey’s thinking in the context of contemporary ecological issues.

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