David L. Hildebrand, Ph.D., Philosophy

Article Public Administration as Pragmatic, Democratic, and Objective

"Public Administration as Pragmatic, Democratic, and Objective" Public Administration Review, 2008 (Volume 68 Issue 2 Page 222-229, March-April 2008). In "Rediscovering the Taproot: Does Classical Pragmatism Offer a Source of Renewal to Public Administration," Patricia M. Shields argues that Public Administration/Administrators (PA) should support a much greater incorporation of classical pragmatism (CP) than it has to date. This paper supports that conclusion by focusing upon CP's central benefit to PA--its ability to provide PA with a claim to objectivity which it badly needs, but which Shields barely mentions. It shows how objectivity is closely connected to a pragmatic conception of democracy, and how this conception of democracy diametrically opposes one built upon a fact/value (or administration/politics) dichotomy.


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