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date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Dewey’s conception of moral cognition as a natural problem-solving process of imaginative deliberation is . naturalistic insofar as it treats moral agents as embodied social animals operating in the natural world, without possessing anything like an eternal soul, transcendent ego, pure reason, or other disembodied mental faculty. Dewey’s view is social-psychological because it sees morality as arising from social embeddedness and interactions with others within communities of interdependent persons. It is reconstructive in that it regards moral appraisal and deliberation as part of an ongoing process of attempting to transform developing experience for the better. It is fallibilist in recognizing that there is no all-encompassing or transcendent standpoint from which to make moral judgments. Finally, Dewey sees moral deliberation neither as rule following nor as mere emotional response but rather as imaginative exploration of how people might reduce conflict and deepen and enrich meaning within situations rife with conflict and tension.

Keywords: Dewey, deliberation, problem-solving, reason, fallibilism

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