Public Philosophy Network

Encouraging and Supporting Publicly Engaged Philosophical Research and Practices

Peter Dorfman
  • Belmont, MA
  • United States
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Independent Scholar/Activist
Interest in public philosophy? Please be as SPECIFIC AS YOU CAN. Members who answer "yes" or "a lot" will not be approved.
I am interested in the way that philosophical theories and perspectives can help to illuminate the challenging and ambiguous conditions of human experience. I am especially interested in the ethical questions concerning human relationships with nature and other animals. And I am intrigued by the way in which our attempts to resolve our philosophical difficulties so often lead to further questions and intellectual penumbra.

I began my philosophical career with an interest in Kantian and Phenomenological epistemology and philosophical psychology. I then focused on Pragmatism and Deweyan ethics, and I continue to be convinced that the naturalistic approach followed by most pragmatists is the most realistic and fruitful way to pursue philosophical investigations. The Pragmatic tradition contains a long history of participation in public debates and it is often by placing a philosophical question within the context of a public policy -- or at least an interpersonal -- debate that the salient issues and options can best be seen.

I would like to find that genuine and rigorous philosophical discussion can contribute to the formulation of public options but I am well-aware of the history and grounds for skepticism on this topic that were first expressed by Plato!

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