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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

A Pluralistic Universe In Twenty Years, Marilyn Fischer Apr 2016

A Pluralistic Universe In Twenty Years, Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Placed side by side, James' A Pluralistic Universe and Addams’s Twenty Years at Hull-House seem to have little in common. James’s critique of absolute idealism is written for intellectuals comfortable with philosophical abstractions. Twenty Years is full of stories about the lives of poor people and immigrants. Yet, sometime after April 1909, when A Pluralistic Universe appeared, and before November 1910, when Twenty Years was published, Addams inserted a few telling quotations into her manuscript. I will give a reading of Twenty Years as a presentation in real time of James’s pluralistic universe, with both form and ...


Response To Comments On 'Addams On Cultural Pluralism, European Immigrants, And African Americans', Marilyn Fischer Oct 2014

Response To Comments On 'Addams On Cultural Pluralism, European Immigrants, And African Americans', Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

The author thanks Denise James and Charlene Haddock Seigfried for their thoughtful comments on her paper. Although they respond in different ways, they both picked up on questions and uncertainties that arose as she wrote the paper.

For some years, she has been trying to write about essays Addams addressed to African American audiences. For this paper, she decided to deal only with Addams’s writings between 1900 and 1910 in order to compare her essays for African American audiences with what she wrote at the same time for wider audiences. This approach enabled her to sort out when Addams ...


Addams On Cultural Pluralism, European Immigrants, And African Americans, Marilyn Fischer Oct 2014

Addams On Cultural Pluralism, European Immigrants, And African Americans, Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In this paper, I will restrict the discussion to Addams’s writings during the twentieth century’s first decade, when she developed most of her thinking on cultural pluralism. By 1910, Dewey had not yet moved to cultural pluralism, Boas’s cultural relativism had not yet penetrated the intellectual world, and Mendelian genetics had not yet replaced Lamarckian assumptions regarding heredity.The Great War was yet to shatter illusions about Western civilization’s strength and rightness.


Interpretation's Contrapuntal Pathways: Addams And The Averbuch Affair, Marilyn Fischer Oct 2011

Interpretation's Contrapuntal Pathways: Addams And The Averbuch Affair, Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In March 1908 the Chicago Police Chief shot Lazarus Averbuch, a young, Russian Jewish immigrant, claiming self-defense against an anarchist plot. Jane Addams refused to join the public's outcry of support for their chief, declaring that she had the obligation to interpret rather than denounce the incident. Her analysis of Averbuch's killing, given in her essay, ““The Chicago Settlements and Social Unrest,”” provides a focal point for seeing how interpretation functions as a unifying theoretical category for Addams, bringing together her activism, her style of writing, and her philosophy of social change. Addams's conception of interpretation is ...


Tomáš Masaryk And Jane Addams On Humanitarianism And Cultural Reciprocity, Marilyn Fischer Jan 2011

Tomáš Masaryk And Jane Addams On Humanitarianism And Cultural Reciprocity, Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Chapter addresses similarities between Addams's and Masaryk's positions on cultural difference and national states. The similarities were based not only on their shared general humanitarian point of view, but on a personal interaction as well. Masaryk visited the U.S. several times and even delivered series of lectures on Slavs and their history at Hull House in Chicago. Masaryk spoke with Addams and was in contact with her through his daughter Alice, who spent time in Chicago and whom Addams mentored. In these circumstances the similarities in their ideas of trans-nationalism, the plasticity of national identity, and cultural ...


Keywords: What's An Advocate To Do With The Words She's Given?, Marilyn Fischer Oct 2010

Keywords: What's An Advocate To Do With The Words She's Given?, Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

I was ecstatic when i read Donna Gabaccia's discussion of "keywords." There is a name for this? People really write books about it? I was thrilled to learn that people do systematically what I, in a bumbling sort of way, dabble with. For the past few years, I have kept a "phrase file," entering what Gabaccia calls "central and evocative terms," along with instances of their use that I happen upon while doing other things (Gabaccia, "Nations of Immigrants" 6). Every once in a while, I check in with JSTOR, Reader's Guide Retrospective, and Google Books. I am ...


Addams And Dewey: Pragmatism, Expression, And Community, Marilyn Fischer Jan 2009

Addams And Dewey: Pragmatism, Expression, And Community, Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Chicago in the 1890s was home to two remarkable institutions, started by two remarkable activist-philosophers, experimenting with ideas and with social change. The first was Hull House, a social settlement, founded by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr in 1889. The second was the Laboratory School, an experimental school opened in 1896 by John Dewey, along with teachers Katherine Camp Mayhew and Anna Camp Edwards. Interaction was constant between the residents of Hull House and the teachers of the Laboratory School, as the participants learned from and taught each other. Through Hull House and the Laboratory School, Addams and Dewey ...


Addams's Internationalist Pacifism And The Rhetoric Of Maternalism, Marilyn Fischer Oct 2006

Addams's Internationalist Pacifism And The Rhetoric Of Maternalism, Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Addams's pacifism grew out of her experiences working for social justice in Chicago's multi-national immigrant community. It rested on her well-tested conviction that justice and international comity could only be achieved through nonviolent means. While Addams at times used maternalist rhetoric, her pacifism was not based on a belief in woman's essential, pacifist nature. Instead, it was grounded on her understanding of democracy, social justice, and international peace as mutually defining concepts. For Addams, progress toward democracy, social justice, and peace involved both institutional reform and changes in moral, intellectual, and affective sensibilities.

A person's sensibilities ...


Cosmic Patriotism And Spiritual Internationalism: Addams’S Newer Ideals Of Peace, Marilyn Fischer Jan 2006

Cosmic Patriotism And Spiritual Internationalism: Addams’S Newer Ideals Of Peace, Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In Newer Ideals of Peace (1907), Addams notes the coming of a “beneficent and progressive patriotism,” a “newer patriotism” that may grow large enough “to soak up the notion of nationalism.” She charts rising cooperation and fellowship within cosmopolitan cities and across national boundaries. Not knowing what to call this phenomenon, Addams writes, “We are driven to the rather absurd phrase of “cosmic patriotism.”

What is she talking about? The first several times I read Newer Ideals, a question tugged in the back of my head: what is this book about? I had too much respect for Addams as a ...


Jane Addams On Autonomy And Responsibility, Marilyn Fischer Jan 1997

Jane Addams On Autonomy And Responsibility, Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Addams understands autonomy and responsibility from the perspective of American pragmatism. Like her collaborator and friend, John Dewey, Addams believes one ascertains an idea's meaning and truth by applying it in practice. Hull House was founded explicitly as a pragmatist test for her ideas on ethics and social change (Lagemann 1994, 77).

Verifying philosophical ideas rests on two methodological prerequisites: concrete experience and sympathetic understanding. Addams repeatedly stresses how emotions serve as the starting point for ethical change, although they need to be cultivated and guided by experience and reason. In addressing social problems, Hull House residents first gathered ...