This book proposes a pragmatist methodological framework for generating practically relevant political philosophy. It draws on John Dewey’s social and political philosophy to develop an "experimentalist" method, thus charting a middle course between idealism and realism in political philosophy. Deweyan experimentalism promises to balance civic deliberation, empirical facts, and moral considerations by reconstructing Dewey’s pragmatist conceptions of ‘philosophy’ and ‘democracy’ from the perspective of social action. While some authors have taken the steps to articulate Dewey’s experimentalism, they have focused on institutional rather than methodological implications. This book is original in the ways in which it situates the role of ideas in political practice and contemporary political problems. Additionally, it underlines the similarities between today and the historical context in which Dewey wrote, connects Dewey’s social and political philosophy to Greek and Roman mythology, and concludes with a timely case study in which the author’s methodological insights are applied. The result is a book that offers a focused reconstruction of Dewey’s work and shows its relevance for engaging with contemporary issues in political philosophy and political theory.


chapter |3 pages


part 5I|32 pages

part 37II|62 pages

chapter 2|28 pages

In Pursuit of Relevance

Dewey’s Pragmatist Rejection of the Quest for Certainty

chapter 4|17 pages

Objecting to Dewey’s Philosophic Ideal

part 99III|111 pages

chapter 5|14 pages

Dewey’s Call for Democratic Renewal

chapter 6|63 pages

Dewey’s Democratic Ideal

Democracy as a Way of Life

part 211IV|42 pages

chapter 9|20 pages

The Question of Method

Deweyan Experimentalism in Political Philosophy

chapter 10|20 pages

Experimentalism as a Method for 21st-Century Political Philosophy

Democratic Innovation, Participatory Budgeting, and Civic Studies