Reconstructing the Ideal in an Age of Consumerism: Boorstin, Dewey, and Niebuhr

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Other Title
  • 消費の時代に「理想」を再構築すること --ブーアスティン、デューイ、ニーバー--
  • ショウヒ ノ ジダイ ニ 「 リソウ 」 オ サイコウチク スル コト : ブーアスティン 、 デューイ 、 ニーバー

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Abstract

The consumption society was marked as a society of "extravagant expectations" by Daniel Boorstin, an American historian. According to him, the driving principle of the consumption is the "images" which means representations with symbolic distinctions, and they escalate egoistic pretentions of consumerism. Our sensibilities have been affected by them. And the point of his argument is that images have displaced ideals. It seems that we judge anything in the light of images. Is it possible to have an ideal in a serious way, not in a caricaturized way? Boorstin (and S. Fitzgerald) said "No", but John Dewey, an American philosopher who had an influence on Boorstin, said "Yes". In A Common Faith, he attempted to reconstruct the idea of "ideals" as the resources for thoughts. In this paper, I will clarify the mechanism of the "idealizing imagination" proposed by him, and point out the fact that the Social Gospel inspired his theory of ideals. One can find more definite statement on ideals in Logic: The Theory of Inquiry, written under the influence of C. S. Peirce, by placing the book in the line of A Common Faith. In addition, I will investigate the conditions of Deweyan ideals around his concepts of "sympathy" and "natural piety". By reconstructing the ideal, Dewey introduced a dual finitude into his philosophy: the transcendence of unreachably remote ideals and the continuity of the self with nature and others. This paper is intended to reveal that he attempted to reduce the "extravagant expectations", and to achieve the view of the self in perspective, or the "self-transcendence" by emphasizing the "finite human capacity". In the last chapter, I will compare his idea with the one of Reinhold Niebuhr.

Journal

  • 人間存在論

    人間存在論 24 93-106, 2018-07-01

    京都大学大学院人間・環境学研究科『人間存在論』刊行会

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