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Pragmatist DemocracyEvolutionary Learning as Public Philosophy$
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Christopher Ansell

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199772438

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199772438.001.0001

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(p.22) Chapter 2 Institutions
Pragmatist Democracy

Christopher K. Ansell

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the rich but fragmented tradition of Pragmatist institutionalism. This tradition shares a Pragmatist model of psychology, an emphasis on the interpretation and production of meaning, an understanding of institutional life as a dynamic “going concern,” and a naturalistic stance towards institutions. Institutions are understood to be concepts that have become grounded in experience and around which publics have developed. Pragmatist institutionalism avoids the polarized image of institutions as either “rational design” or “congealed taste” by focusing on how complex institutions are scaffolded.

Keywords:   pragmatism, institutionalism, institutions, rational design, scaffolding

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