UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The subject and its problems : reason and subjectivity in John Dewey's philosophy of communication Santeusanio, Joshua D.


One major theme of John Dewey’s social philosophy that remains salient for critical theorists today is his investments in theorizing a democratic model of reflexive communications. From a contemporary perspective, Dewey’s writings on communications, particularly his efforts in The Public and its Problems, continue to offer present-day thinkers fruitful insights into the logic of democratic citizenship and social action. At the same time, one limitation of Dewey’s work reveals an ongoing challenge for developing a critical theory of communications. While, as Dewey appreciated, we have good reason to link the inclusivity of political discourse to the relative quality of democratic life, I contend that we need to consider some even more basic questions about communications. That is, we need to consider just who is recognized as a proper communicative subject prima facie before theorizing about the content and “quality” of communicative utterances. Therefore, this project examines how the underlying processes of subject formation have historically shaped, regulated, and defined the precise limits of who implicitly is taken to embody certain performative discourses of democratic action in Dewey’s philosophy.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International