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Reconstructing rationality: Agency and inquiry in John Dewey's project as a foundation for social and urban planning.

Dorstewitz, Philipp (2008) Reconstructing rationality: Agency and inquiry in John Dewey's project as a foundation for social and urban planning. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to develop a new concept of rationality in the field of planning and policy design. The argument maintains that classical pragmatism, in particular John Dewey's work, holds the key for a thorough and timely reconstruction of deliberative rationality. The current project will develop a received "traditional" model of rational planning based on the Humean model of rational agency. This "linear instrumental rationality" model will be criticised by challenging its agency theoretic presuppositions. The thesis will interpret Dewey's epistemological, ethical and metaphysical contributions as chiefly aimed toward a reconstruction of the Humean "Folk-Model" of agency and rationality. Dewey's notions of imagination and intelligent inquiry will be discussed as central concepts in developing a new model of rational agency. His understanding of deliberative democracy as embodying effective social intelligence bridges agency theoretic discussions and collective deliberation and planning. This thesis aspires to be both a conceptual philosophical exploration and a contribution to planning theory that can provide understanding and guidance in applied contexts. Two chapters at the ends will deal with the consequences of this Deweyan reconstruction project for planning theory and practice. A novel model of rational planning will be developed and the move from a traditional "linear instrumental" understanding of rational planning to a new "situational transactive" model will be illustrated in two case studies of urban land use planning in the German Ruhr region.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Philosophy, Political Science, General
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2175

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