“Growth,” Economic and Human – on the Reconstruction of Economics Through Pragmatism and the Capabilities Approach
Kenneth W. Stikkers connects classical pragmatism with contemporary capability approaches regarding questions of economic development and human growth. He argues that both offer complementary diagnoses and remedies for what he considers as the current impoverished state of economic research and debate. Among other things, one crucial strength inherent in both traditions is that they focus upon human flourishing rather than narrow utilitarian gains. Stikkers suggests that classical pragmatist perspectives can and should back up Martha Nussbaum's and Amartya Sen's widely used concept of capabilities. Dewey's comprehensive philosophy of culture, his understanding of human growth, and his deep awareness of the connections between democracy and education are essential components that his pragmatism can contribute to contemporary capability discussions.