notion of multiple truths existing in the world, the validity of which are determined not by appeal to an a priori moral compass or external reality, but by the strength of belief and the action they enable. As such, the expedition sought to explore how the pluralism of the citizenry and its knowledge could be adequately respected in pragmatic social research.
The approach taken to this experiment was inspired by the model of broad-based community organising developed by Saul Alinsky, in which people from a range of backgrounds, but inhabiting a shared geographic
unrestrained licentiousness or hermetic withdrawal from the world, and equates with a kind of moral disingenuousness in which the acceptance of anarchy and chaos can be “immensely satisfying” because it combines the certainty of failure with “the absolute comfort of being morally superior” ( Harman, 2014 , 115).
A related and equally self-defeating form of withdrawal and disconnection is the retreat behind artificial walls of identity or ideology, circling the wagons to create the semblance of security and certainty via the exclusion of difference and the erasure of
of difference as a prerequisite for hegemonic struggle between groups advocating different interpretations of democratic values ( 2005b ). Because Mouffe sees conflict as constitutive of the political, governance strategies that make it difficult to discern and contest political difference are suspect, as are modes of interaction that seek to suture division and diffuse tension.
Despite her rejection of that which masks difference, however, Mouffe is mindful of the threat to democratic arrangements that difference poses when it is defined in moral, essentialist
Dewey’s pragmatism and its implications for the spatialisation of social science
discursive action in spatial arenas, particularly in urban public space, where these non-discursive routines can be established ( Bridge, 2005 ). This can be traced through the work of the ethnomethodologists and dramaturgical sociologists ( Garfinkel, 1967 ; Goffman, 1955 ). Roberto Frega (2015) , though less concerned with the spatialities of these processes, highlights the significance of these forms of communication, even for moral problems in what he calls ‘the normative structure of the ordinary’.
Frega emphasises the significance of everyday interactions as
A pragmatist responds to epistemic and other kinds of frictions in the academy
; and (4) that faculty members of colour would better understand them and advance their goals. They argued, further, that a fuller recognition of the bodily, epistemological and moral harms done to people of colour requires a form of academic reparation that privileges people of colour in order to redress the weight of historical oppression. These include changes in admissions and fellowships; a greater commitment by teachers to work with the differential academic knowledge base of students of colour; and hiring, promoting and tenuring faculty of colour. Motivating
‘strangers’ can be recruited into collective activism in the absence of social
networks, through ‘moral shocks’. Movements use both mechanisms for
recruitment – existing social networks and moral shocks.
CMC is likely to contribute to these forms of mobilisation in a number
of ways. CMC could serve as a useful technology through which to articulate moral shocks to a wider audience than previously possible, serving
as a new medium through which to frame activists’ concerns. There
remains doubt, however, as to whether participation is likely to occur
A Capability Approach based analysis from the UK and Ireland
, neoliberal economy.
The CA and individualism
A focus on individual wellbeing has been recognised and explored by a number of
authors of the CA (e.g. Alkire, 2008; Robeyns, 2008). Robeyns (2008: 30) argues
that the CA adopts what is called ‘ethical individualism’ in that individuals are the
ultimate units of moral concern in evaluating wellbeing. In this way, the concerns
See the Human Development and Capability Association website (www.hd-ca.org) which details
thematic groups using various methodological approaches for the greater understanding of human
Dewey , J. ( 1925 ) Experience and nature . La Salle, IL : Open Court .
Dewey , J. ( 1931 ) Individualism old and new . London : George Allen and Unwin .
Dewey , J. ( 1934 [ 1980 ]) Art as experience . New York, NY : Perigree Books .
Dewey , J. ( 1938 [ 1960 ]) Logic: The theory of inquiry . New York, NY : Holt, Rinehart and Winston .
Dewey , J. ( 1927 [ 1954 ]) The public and its problems . Athens, OH : Swallow Press/Ohio University Press .
Fesmire , S. ( 2003 ) John Dewey and moral imagination: Pragmatism in ethics
more on sociopsychological aspects. Thus it examines the triggers
of individuals’ inclusion into activism – face-to-face interaction (and
accompanying friendship networks) and the use of moral shocks. New
social movement theorists especially have focused on the personal triggers
to collective action. Melucci (2000) has suggested that participation can be
concerned primarily with a search for personal identity and the solidarity
gained from being part of a group.
These approaches emphasise face-to-face interaction as of primary
importance. This ignores both the
than oral ( Toulmin, 2001 ). Enlightenment reasoning produced a shift away from “ practical philosophy, whose issues arose out of clinical medicine, judicial procedure, moral case analysis, or the rhetorical force of oral reasoning, to a theoretical conception of philosophy” ( Toulmin, 2001 , 34). The turn from the immediate and practical to the theoretical and abstract offered an escape from a dogmatic political order in which religious intolerance and endless war were at their height. For the scholars of the Enlightenment, the certainty and predictability of