Pragmatism is a longstanding philosophical idiom that advocates public-facing philosophy – philosophy that abandons merely academic puzzles and addresses itself to the social and political problems of the day. This commitment is perhaps most firmly manifest in John Dewey. Unsurprisingly, Dewey wrote extensively in social and political philosophy, focusing in particular on developing a conception of participatory democracy. Given his strong commitment to democracy, it is clear that Dewey is some kind of egalitarian. But what is also surprising is that Dewey wrote little that’s explicitly about justice.
In his new book, Pragmatist Egalitarianism
(Oxford University Press, 2018), David Rondel
seeks to make a pragmatist contribution to egalitarian political philosophy. Drawing specifically on Dewey, William James, and Richard Rorty, Rondell argued for a “pluralist” approach to egalitarianism, one that resolves tensions among competing versions of egalitarianism.