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Title: John Dewey on the Public Responsibility of Intellectuals
Authors: Stikkers, Kenneth W.
Keywords: DeweycitizenshipGreat Society
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Kenneth W. Stikkers, "John Dewey on the Public Responsibility of Intellectuals", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XII (2010) 1, pp. 195−206.
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
XII (2010) 1
What is a “public intellectual”? And, what is the public responsibility of intellectuals? I
wish to place these issues at the intersection of John Dewey’s notion of “publics” and his
call for a recovery of philosophy, which I take to be a broader call for a recovery of
intellectual life generally. My analysis from such a perspective will suggest the public
responsibility of intellectuals to be at least three-fold: 1) to identify and maintain citizens’
focus on the concrete problems that define publics, thereby facilitating the bringing of
publics into being and maintaining them as long as they continue to be useful for solving
such problems; 2) to aid in the creation of experimental methods whereby social intelligence
and resources might be better directed to those problems’ resolutions; and 3) to bring
publics to self awareness through the redirection of traditional symbols and the forging of
new ones so as to create shared meanings and feelings of common interest, i.e., to aid in the
transformation of the Great Society into the Great Community.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2010) XII/1

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