Journal Article

Recent debates over American liberalism have largely ignored one way of understanding democratic purposes that was widely influential for much of American history. This normative conception of democracy was inspired by philosophical ideas found in people such as John Stuart Mill and G. W. F. Hegel rather than by rights-based or civic republican theories. Walt Whitman and John Dewey were among its notable adherents. There is much that can be said on behalf of Richard Rorty's recent argument that American liberals would be well advised to recover and reclaim the heritage of Whitman and Dewey; but some additions and emendations to his construction of these champions of democracy would strengthen his case.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Spragens, TA

Published Date

  • January 1, 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 24 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 141 - 163

Published By

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1471-6437

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0265-0525

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/s0265052507070069


  • en