I Love Me

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Eve Grigware
11/30/12
Persuasive Historical Essay

In the early 20th century, many social and political movements demanded the attention and action of the United States. During this time, Jane Addams became an accomplished philosopher, author, peace advocate, feminist and sociologist during the Progressive era, who was unique from other reformers during this time because she didn’t prioritize the social, economic, and political inequalities that plagued America’s minorities; Every issue was important and she proposed her beliefs on coexistence through a pacifist attitude that helped pave the way to the accomplishment of many successful labor and social reform movements because the actions she took to promote change ignited an awareness among middle class America that wasn’t there before, thus making her a central figure for the many rights that passed through the legislature. As far as philosophy goes, Pragmatism was a new and popular theory supported by many philosophers in the late 1800’s. In basic terms, the theory states that if a solution or answer doesn’t always apply to the same issue, then that answer or solution wasn’t the absolute truth; it wasn’t really a true solution or answer. Philosophers worldwide supported this term; however, a vast majority made a few tweaks to reshape its original definition. An example of this is John Dewey, who coined the term instrumentalism (Encyclopedia, pg. 1). He, along with philosopher Jane Addams, believed that ideas are the instruments that guide our actions, which have the power to change the world, and that the value of our ideas shouldn’t be measured by the truth of them, but by the success that comes from the action (Hamington, pg. 1). In other words, success should be measured by our actions, not necessarily from our thoughts. Together they redefined democracy in terms of pragmatism and civic activism, with more of an emphasis on duty and less on rights (Hamington, pg. 1). Jane Addams...
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