Is 2 Is

Administrative Theory & PraxisVol. 30 Nbr. 1, March 2008

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Summary


In the absence of a common Ought, individuals move from current Is to the next Is. This drift can be purposeful or mindless, and may involve a circle of connected others. Where then originates any mandate for government to manage this flow, an exhortation toward unity of purpose, to avoid despair, to seek exhilaration or victory? Ought governing strategies contribute toward actuating a most preferred state of shared existence, an aggregate realm facilitating individually optimal states of being? Dewey (1927/1991) noted that political philosophy ought not determine what the state in general should or must be, but rather help create methods such that experimentation may go on less blindly, less at the mercy of accident, more intelligently, so that men may learn from their errors and profit from their successes. In individual transition from Is to Is, government can reduce radical and destructive errors, if its instantiated methods facilitate the development of a changed state that advantages its people.

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Is 2 Is

Tis an unweeded garden that grows . .. things rank and gross.

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

The "new" pragmatism should, I think, be viewed merely as an effort to clear away some alder and sumac, which sprang up during a 30-year spell of wet philosophical weather-the period that we now look back on as "positivistic analytic philosophy." This will restore the appearance of the terrain that Dewey landscaped.

Richard Rorty (1999, p. 96)

In the absence of a common Ought, individuals move from current Is to the next Is. This drift can be purposeful or mindless, and may involve a circle of connected others. Where then originates any mandate for government to manage this flow, an exhortation toward unity of purpose, to avoid despair, to seek exhilaration or victory? Ought governing strategies contribute toward actuating a most preferred state of shared existence, an aggregate realm facilitating individually optimal states of being?

Dewey (1927/1991) noted that political philosophy ought not determine what the state in general should o...

See the full content of this document


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