This article presents a novel account of a key concept in John Dewey’s reconstructionist theory specifically related to the nucleus underlying his idea of democracy: intersubjective communication, what Dewey called the “democratic criterion.” Many theorists relate democracy to a form of rule. Consequently, discussions of democracy tend to be limited to functionalist theories. Dewey’s idea of democracy establishes an important distinction from conventional theories by developing its radical, critical, evolutionary, and intersubjective potential. I argue that Dewey anticipated Jürgen Habermas’s Paradigm of Communication in his reconstructionist social theory with potential to de-reify institutions and to empower human beings democratically.

Available for download on Saturday, June 15, 2019