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The power of pragmatismKnowledge production and social inquiry$
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Jane Wills and Robert Lake

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526134943

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526134950

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

Appreciating the situation: Dewey’s pragmatism and its implications for the spatialisation of social science

Appreciating the situation: Dewey’s pragmatism and its implications for the spatialisation of social science

Chapter:
(p.69) 3 Appreciating the situation: Dewey’s pragmatism and its implications for the spatialisation of social science
Source:
The power of pragmatism
Author(s):

Gary Bridge

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7765/9781526134950.00010

Pragmatism as a philosophy has emphasised the significance of process, temporality and historicity in human organisms’ transactions with their environment. This chapter explores the significance of spatiality for human–environment transactions. This is closely associated with John Dewey’s idea of ‘situation’ as capturing both immediate experience and more enduring and extensive spatial/temporal resources. Through a pragmatist idea of spatiality, as well as temporality, we might start to bring together the more vitalist pragmatism concerned with an active environment of humans, non-human organisms and objects in assemblages, and the more rationalist pragmatism that emphasises the distinctiveness of human practices (especially in language use). The chapter concludes with some illustrations from Chicago ethnography and Hull House social activism to suggest the significance of this idea of time, space and situation in problem solving, including problem solving in social science.

Keywords:   John Dewey, space, time, experience, situation, inquiry, vitalism

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