Circuits of Civilization: Progressive Democratic Character Education in the Process of Globalization

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Centrum för tillämpad etik


This thesis interprets John Dewey’s theory of the moral life in the global context in order to shed a light on major ethical challenges of the process of globalization. Dewey’s perspective provides an explanation of (1) formation of the individual commitments to particular sets of values,(2) justification of the responsibilities to the distanced peoples as opposed to the responsibilities to the nearest and dearest peoples and (3)the meaning of democratic social arrangements on the global scale.

In order to find a theoretical basis for justification of democracy in the globalizing world, the thesis reviews Dewey’s educational philosophy. His inquiry in the underlying ideas of public education reveals its core democratic meaning which points out the necessity of progressive democratic character education. This thesis suggests that in the current global context the existing educational bodies (such as UNDP and UNESCO) are insufficient in providing such a humanistic education which would actualize democracy as interdependence of all humans within civilization.

In order to establish a just social order which would be responsive to every human being within civilization there is the need to maintain a democratic mode of associated living on the global scale where every human partakes in the accumulation of knowledge of civilization and benefits from it in return. Relying on Dewey's theoretical basis the thesis suggests the criteria which the global educational institution should fulfil in order to maintain democracy as a mode of associated living in the global society.

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