Can Pragmatists be Institutionalists? John Dewey Joins the Non-ideal/Ideal Theory Debate

Human Studies 33 (1):65-84 (2010)
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Abstract
During the 1960s and 1970s, institutionalists and behavioralists in the discipline of political science argued over the legitimacy of the institutional approach to political inquiry. In the discipline of philosophy, a similar debate concerning institutions has never taken place. Yet, a growing number of philosophers are now working out the institutional implications of political ideas in what has become known as “non-ideal theory.” My thesis is two-fold: (1) pragmatism and institutionalism are compatible and (2) non-ideal theorists, following the example of pragmatists, can avoid a similar debate as took place between institutionalists and behavioralists by divulging their assumptions about institutions.
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