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Steven Fesmire [30]Steven A. Fesmire [1]
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Steven Fesmire
Radford University
  1. John Dewey and Moral Imagination: Pragmatism in Ethics.Steven Fesmire - 2003 - Indiana University Press.
    While examining the important role of imagination in making moral judgments, John Dewey and Moral Imagination focuses new attention on the relationship between American pragmatism and ethics. Steven Fesmire takes up threads of Dewey's thought that have been largely unexplored and elaborates pragmatism's distinctive contribution to understandings of moral experience, inquiry, and judgment. Building on two Deweyan notions—that moral character, belief, and reasoning are part of a social and historical context and that moral deliberation is an imaginative, dramatic rehearsal of (...)
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  2. Dewey.Steven Fesmire - 2015 - Routledge.
    John Dewey was the dominant voice in American philosophy through the World Wars, the Great Depression, and the nascent years of the Cold War. With a professional career spanning three generations and a profile that no public intellectual has operated on in the U.S. since, Dewey's biographer Robert Westbrook accurately describes him as "the most important philosopher in modern American history." In this superb and engaging introduction, Steven Fesmire begins with a chapter on Dewey’s life and works, before discussing and (...)
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  3. Aerating the Mind: The Metaphor of Mental Functioning As Bodily Functioning.Steven Fesmire - 1994 - Metaphor and Symbol 9 (2):31-44.
    Recent advances in the cognitive sciences suggest that cognition is grounded in our embodied experience. This article supports this claim by analyzing the way we conceptualize our emotions metaphorically in terms of bodily processes. Our emotions are not merely matters of subjective feeling. Rather, emotions have stable conceptual structures that have emerged from our embodied activity through metaphorical projections, structures that are shared in a culture and can be disclosed by empirical inquiry. This article explores the metaphorical structuring of anxiety (...)
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  4. Philosophy Disrobed: Lakoff and Johnson's Call for Empirically Responsible Philosophy. [REVIEW]Steven Fesmire - 2000 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 14 (4):300-305.
    [Excerpt from first lines] In answer to a friend's query about my current pursuits, I hoisted Lakoff and Johnson's six-hundred-page magnum opus into his hands. "Reviewing this." Thoughtfully weighing the imposing book in one palm, he pronounced: " Philosophy in the Flesh? It needs to go on a diet!" I laughingly agreed, then in good philosopher's form analyzed his joke. He had conceived the book metaphorically as a person, as when we speak of books "inspiring" us or being "great company" (...)
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  5.  10
    "Rediscovering the Moral Life" (1998) Review Article on James Gouinlock's Rediscovering the Moral Life.Steven Fesmire - 1998 - Journal of Value Inquiry 32:133-137.
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  6. Review of Bryan Norton, Sustainable Values, Sustainable Change.Steven Fesmire - 2016 - Environmental Ethics 38 (4):499-502.
    Sustainable Values, Sustainable Change is a culminating work written for a general audience of environmental professionals. In keeping with what he has long urged for environmental philosophers, Norton focuses on ameliorative processes for resolving disagreements, on making decisions, while sidestepping the monistic quest for the right general principles to think about and govern human relationships with nature. Norton presupposes his “convergence hypothesis” familiar to readers of this journal: multi-scalar anthropocentric arguments, he holds, usually justify the same policies as ecocentric arguments; (...)
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  7. What Is `Cognitive' About Cognitive Linguistics?Steven Fesmire - 1994 - Metaphor and Symbol 9 (2):149-154.
    Clarifies the nature of a cognitive approach to human understanding and experience, and forestalls objections that cognitive linguistics is either too intellectualistic and subjectivistic, or too physicalistic in its treatment of understanding and meaning. The objection is addressed that conceptual metaphors are overly conceptual, that they are mentalistic to the detriment of a full-blooded account of the bodily, practical, and social dimensions of meaning and symbolic interaction.
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  8.  37
    Democracy and the Industrial Imagination in American Education.Steven Fesmire - 2016 - Education and Culture 32 (1):53.
    Media fact-checkers promptly corrected Marco Rubio when he called for more vocational education during the November 2015 GOP presidential debate: “Welders make more money than philosophers,” he said. “We need more welders than philosophers.” It was widely pointed out in response to Senator Rubio’s remark that, on average, those who major in philosophy at a college or university tend to have higher salaries than professional welders. But this point, despite its utility for promoting philosophy as an academic major, is a (...)
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  9. Ecological Imagination.Steven Fesmire - 2010 - Environmental Ethics 32 (2):183-203.
    Environmental thinkers recognize that ecological thinking has a vital role to play in many wise choices and policies; yet, little theoretical attention has been given to developing an adequate philosophical psychology of the imaginative nature of such thinking. Ecological imagination is an outgrowth of our more general deliberative capacity to perceive, in light of possibilities for thinking and acting, the relationships that constitute any object. Such imagination is of a specifically ecological sort when key metaphors, images, symbols, and the like (...)
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  10. Ecological Imagination in Moral Education, East and West.Steven Fesmire - 2012 - Contemporary Pragmatism 9 (1):205-222.
    Relational philosophies developed in classical American pragmatism and the Kyoto School of modern Japanese philosophy suggest aims for greater ecological responsiveness in moral education. To better guide education, we need to know how ecological perception becomes relevant to our deliberations. Our deliberations enlist imagination of a specifically ecological sort when the imaginative structures we use to understand ecosystemic relationships shape our mental simulations and rehearsals. Enriched through cross-cultural dialogue, a finely aware ecological imagination can make the deliberations of the coming (...)
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  11.  30
    Dramatic Rehearsal and the Moral Artist: A Deweyan Theory of Moral Understanding.Steven A. Fesmire - 1995 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 31 (3):568-597.
    Contemporary moral theorists are increasingly attentive to the ways human beings actually make sense of their moral experience and compose meaningful lives. Martha Nussbaum's re-introduction of Aristotelian practical wisdom and Alasdair MacIntyre's emphasis on narrativity are good examples of a shift in focus away from tedious polemics about the single "right thing to do" in a situation. But recent theorists have tended to lack a highly articulated philosophical framework--especially a full-blooded theory of moral belief and deliberation--that would enable us better (...)
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  12.  58
    Morality as Art: Dewey, Metaphor, and Moral Imagination.Steven Fesmire - 1999 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 35 (3):527-550.
    It is a familiar thesis that art affects moral imagination. But as a metaphor or model for moral experience, artistic production and enjoyment have been overlooked. This is no small oversight, not because artists are more saintly than the rest of us, but because seeing imagination so blatantly manifested gives us new eyes with which to see what can be made of imagination in everyday life. Artistic creation offers a rich model for understanding the sort of social imagination that is (...)
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  13.  40
    Rediscovering the Moral Life: Philosophy and Human Practice, James Gouinlock. [REVIEW]Steven Fesmire - 1998 - Journal of Value Inquiry 32 (1):133-137.
    In this rare mixture of conservative anti-egalitarianism and Deweyan pluralism, James Gouinlock echoes John Dewey’s paean that philosophers must turn away from pseudo-problems manufactured philosophers and toward the pressing lessons and potentialities of mortal existence. “Moral philosophy,” he urges, “is at the service of the moral life” (p. 82). Its role is to discern the nature of the human moral condition, reflect on its lessons and possibilities, and give it intelligent direction by distinguishing suitable values. (...).
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  14.  47
    Ecological Imagination and Aims of Moral Education Through the Kyoto School and American Pragmatism.Steven Fesmire - 2012 - In Paul Standish & Naoko Saito (eds.), Education and the Kyoto School of Philosophy. Dordrecht, Netherlands: pp. 109-130.
    Cross-cultural dialogue between the Kyoto School of modern Japanese philosophy and the classical pragmatist tradition in American philosophy can help educators to clarify aims for greater ecological responsiveness in moral education. This dialogue can contribute to meeting an urgent practical need to cultivate ecological imagination, and an equally practical need to make theoretical sense of the way in which ecological perception becomes relevant to moral deliberation. The first section of this chapter explores relational thinking in the Kyoto School and American (...)
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  15.  24
    Out of Plumb, Out of Key, and Out of Whack: Social Ethics and Democracy for the New Normal [Pandemic Ethics and Politics] (2021).Steven Fesmire & Heather Keith - manuscript
    for The Deweyan Task Before Us: The New Global Paradigm for Philosophy, Education, and Democracy Emerging from the Pandemic (2021 edited volume under review) John Dewey proposed soon after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that citizens of techno-industrial nations suffer from "cultural lag" (LW 15:199-200; cf. LW 4:203-28). He had in mind a sort of moral jet lag, a condition in which most of the basic alternatives we have on hand to think and talk about moral and political (...)
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  16.  42
    Our Place in the Cosmos: Faith and Belief in Contact.Heather Keith & Steven Fesmire - 2005 - In Kimberly A. Blessing & Paul J. Tudico (eds.), Movies and the Meaning of Life. Chicago, IL, USA: pp. 17-31.
    Based on the 1985 science fiction novel by the astronomer Carl Sagan, Contact tells the story of what a first encounter between humans and intelligent extraterrestrial beings might be like. It also details the complexities of faith and belief in a world where religion and science often come into conflict—a favorite theme of Sagan's, and a major subject in the history of philosophy. This chapter explores tangles of faith and belief through the lens of philosophy and the characters and concepts (...)
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  17.  17
    Dewey's Independent Factors in Moral Action.Steven Fesmire - 2020 - In Roberto Frega & Steven Levine (eds.), John Dewey's Ethical Theory: The 1932 Ethics. New York and London: pp. 18-39.
    Drawing on unpublished and published sources from 1926 to 1932, this chapter analyzes “Three Independent Factors in Morals” (1930) as a blueprint to Dewey’s chapters in the 1932 Ethics. The 1930 presentation is Dewey’s most concise and sophisticated critique of the quest in ethical theory for the central and basic source of normative justification. He argued that moral situations are heterogeneous in their origins and operations. They elude full predictability and are not controllable by the impositions of any abstract monistic (...)
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  18.  15
    On (Not) Becoming a Moral Monster: Democratically Transforming American Racial Imaginations.Steven Fesmire - 2020 - Dewey Studies 4 (1):41-49.
    James Baldwin wrote: "People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster." When people impute meanings to events--such as the 2020 killing of George Floyd, the shooting of Jacob Blake, and subsequent upheavals--they do so with ideas that already make sense to them. And what makes most sense to people is typically due to others with (...)
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  19.  17
    Remaking the Modern Mind: William James’s Reconstruction of Rationality.Steven Fesmire - 1998 - Southwest Philosophy Review 14 (2):65-82.
    [Abstract drawn from the development of these ideas in John Dewey and Moral Imagination (2003, ch. 3): To present the pragmatic turn from transcendental reason to engaged intelligence in a way that emphasizes the magnitude of their break from the philosophic tradition while correcting standing prejudices, it is helpful to turn the spotlight on James. This essay sketches several interrelated claims about James's notions of reason and truth: Reason is embodied, evolving, and practical, and as such it is subject to (...)
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  20.  77
    Beyond Moral Fundamentalism: Dewey’s Pragmatic Pluralism in Ethics and Politics.Steven Fesmire - 2019 - In Oxford Handbook of Dewey. Oxford, UK and New York, NY: pp. 209-234.
    Drawing on unpublished and published sources from 1926-1932, this chapter builds on John Dewey’s naturalistic pragmatic pluralism in ethical theory. A primary focus is “Three Independent Factors in Morals,” which analyzes good, duty, and virtue as distinct categories that in many cases express different experiential origins. The chapter suggests that a vital role for contemporary theorizing is to lay bare and analyze the sorts of conflicts that constantly underlie moral and political action. Instead of reinforcing moral fundamentalism via an outdated (...)
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  21. Pragmatist Ethics and Climate Change.Steven Fesmire - 2020 - In Dale Miller & Ben Eggleston (eds.), Moral Theory and Climate Change: Ethical Perspectives on a Warming Planet. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. pp. Ch. 11.
    This chapter explores some features of pragmatic pluralism as an ethical perspective on climate change. It is inspired in part by Andrew Light’s work on climate diplomacy, and by Bryan Norton’s environmental pragmatism, while drawing more explicitly than Light or Norton from classical pragmatist sources such as John Dewey. The primary aim of the chapter is to characterize, differentiate, and advance a general pragmatist approach to climate ethics. The main line of argument is that we are suffering culturally from a (...)
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  22.  12
    Ecological Humanism: A Moral Image for Our Emotive Culture.Steven Fesmire - 2001 - The Humanist 61 (1):27-30.
    Anglo-Americans tend to see themselves as isolated individuals who recognize that their self-interest requires them to cooperate and thus submit to moral rules or moral authorities as long as others agree to do the same. But this picture fails to acknowledge a deeper interconnectedness to the persons and places we live with, and so it fails to sustain an understanding of why our social and natural ecology is important to our flourishing. Fesmire advocates that we cultivate metaphors that more accurately (...)
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  23.  10
    Immaginazione morale e etica responsabile.Steven Fesmire - 2010 - Ecole 1 (79):44-47.
    Como filosofo che insegna in un Corso di studi ambientali, nutro un respetto profondo per i miei colleghi che lavorano nel settore della formazione in politiche ambientali. Tuttavia non e questo il mio forte: il mio lavoro s'indirizza verso lo sviluppo di un'appropriata psicologia della scelta e verso una riflessione sulle virtu che presiedono a una saggia deliberazione. -/- This article is based on a presentation at Terra Madre, the gathering of Slow Food communities in Turin, Italy. It contrasts "slow (...)
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  24. Useful for What? Dewey's Call to Humanize Techno-Industrial Civilization.Steven Fesmire - 2016 - Pragmatism Today 7 (1):11-19.
    The heart of Dewey’s call to humanize techno-industrial civilization was to conceive science and technology in the service of aesthetic consummations. Hence his philosophy suggests a way to reclaim and affirm technology on behalf of living more fulfilling lives. He remains a powerful ally today in the fight against deadening efficiency, narrow means-end calculation, “frantic exploitation,” and the industrialization of everything. Nonetheless, it is common to depict him as a philosopher we should think around rather than with. The first section (...)
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  25. Educational Values: Schools as Cultures of Imagination, Growth, and Fulfillment.Steven Fesmire - 2017 - In Leonard Waks & Andrea English (eds.), John Dewey’s Democracy and Education: A Centennial Handbook. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 167-176.
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  26.  56
    Dewey and Animal Ethics.Steven Fesmire - 2004 - In Erin McKenna & Andrew Light (eds.), Animal Pragmatism: Rethinking Human Nonhuman Relationships. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. pp. 43-61.
    Animal ethics, which investigates the appropriate ethical relationship between humans and nonhuman animals, is a field that was until recently ignored by most contemporary philosophers working in the classical pragmatist tradition. There are several reasons for this neglect. For example, one who sidesteps a confrontation over the relative merits of the utilitarian maxim or the Kantian practical imperative as supreme moral principles is not likely to quibble over anthropocentric versus sentientist variations of these principles. An unfortunate result is that pragmatism (...)
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  27.  52
    Remaking the Modern Mind: William James’s Reconstruction of Rationality.Steven Fesmire - 1998 - Southwest Philosophy Review 14 (2):65-81.
    The past few decades have witnessed a growing concern to reveal the futility of the quest for absolute, ahistorical rational standards. Instead, philosophers have sought theories that will prove responsive to the humanness of rationality. The classical pragmatist tradition in American philosophy provides a tremendously fruitful yet still too often overlooked framework for accommodating, clarifying, and extending current explorations of human reason. To present the pragmatic turn from transcendental reason to engaged intelligence in a way that emphasizes the magnitude of (...)
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  28.  35
    A `Primer’ in Conceptual Metaphor for Counselors.Scott Allen Wickman, M. Harry Daniels, Lyle J. White & Steven Fesmire - 1999 - Journal of Counseling and Development 77 (4):389-394.
    Conceptual metaphor provides a potentially powerful counseling framework, generalizable across theoretical orientations. According to the conceptual perspective, metaphor is not merely a matter of language, but is an indispensable dimension of human understanding and experience whereby more abstract ideas (like relationships) are understood in terms of more concrete experiences (like journeys). Consequently, when a couple in counseling says, “we're just spinning our wheels,” they are not only using a common colloquial expression, but also giving information about how they conceptualize their (...)
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  29.  12
    杜威与道德想象力伦理学中的实用主义 (John Dewey and Moral Imagination, Chinese translation).Steven Fesmire - 2010 - Beijing, China: Peking University Press.
    杜威与道德想象力伦理学中的实用主义, Chinese translation by Xu Peng and Ma Ru Jun Yi of John Dewey and Moral Imagination: Pragmatism in Ethics (Peking University Press, 2010), Pragmatism Study Series. Introduction and ch. 7 (The Moral Artist) included in this sample. Original publication: Indiana University Press, 2003.
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  30. Introduction.Steven Fesmire (ed.) - 2019 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    John Dewey was the foremost figure and public intellectual in early to mid-twentieth century American philosophy. He is the most academically cited Anglophone philosopher of the past century, and he is among the most cited Americans of any century. In this comprehensive volume spanning thirty-five chapters, leading scholars help researchers access particular aspects of Dewey’s thought, navigate the enormous and rapidly developing literature, and participate in current scholarship in light of prospects in key topical areas. Beginning with a framing essay (...)
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  31. The Oxford Handbook of Dewey.Steven Fesmire (ed.) - 2019 - Oxford, UK and New York: Oxford University Press.
    The Oxford Handbook of Dewey, ed. Steven Fesmire Volume Abstract: John Dewey was the foremost figure and public intellectual in early to mid-twentieth century American philosophy. He is the most academically cited Anglophone philosopher of the past century, and he is among the most cited Americans of any century. In this comprehensive volume spanning thirty-five chapters, leading scholars help researchers access particular aspects of Dewey’s thought, navigate the enormous and rapidly developing literature, and participate in current scholarship in light of (...)
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