Jane Addams, an internationally renowned advocate of peace, became devoted in serving the people for several years. She has done numerous charitable works and became a recognized leader of Progressivism in the United States of America. This movement is a political attitude favoring reform. She was also a creative writer who authored a dozen of books and over 500 articles. One of her books was entitled “Newer Ideals of Peace” which spoke about different themes about social philosophies in life, but most especially, about peace and how it could be attained.
Her book redesigned the peace movement worldwide to incorporate ideals of social justice. This paper will discuss certain perspectives that will explain Jane Addams’ way of thinking. Adams was known for her numerous thoughts and arguments in Social Philosophy. In her written piece, she considered some themes such as the matter of peace and concepts such as pluralism and democracy. This also aims to criticize how Adams looked at social calamities and situations. Adams realized the human beings’ need and urge of finding out how they could bring peace into the world.
One of the known world peace movement included an act to support immigrants coming from all over the world. Although several people thought of condemning the perversity of immigrants, Adams thought otherwise. In her work, she dealt with Pluralism. She suggested that pluralism should be embraced, not feared for this will also benefit to those who could be affected. It was evident that she saw the value of cultural diversity in the United States. It kept the states from being static. He added that cultural diversity could also be used to develop relations between nations.
For Addams, social development insisted that all voices be heard but she believed in the power of collective intelligence to discover common cause from that diversity. According to surveys conducted regarding the immigration issue in the states, people from different parts of the world became part of the American Tribunal, so their efforts should not be ignored. By accepting these people means bringing peace and justice to the world. Multiculturalism is a part of America’s history, which is why this should not be taken for granted or given other impression.
With this movement, we could develop a sense of patriotism which, according to Addams, is a significant sentiment that may be strong enough to move masses of men out of their narrow national considerations and cautions into new reaches of human effort and affection. She affirmed that patriotism is the highest form of social emotion because it is dominated by warlike impulses. The convention is quite not capable of sweeping into itself the spirit of bravery and impassiveness that belongs to modern industrial efforts, although people defend warfare because it engenders these very qualities.
She argued that one’s commitment to humanity should go beyond national borders. Addams also created a definition of democracy. According to her, democracy is far beyond seeing it as a political structure. Democracy embodied a living and social morality. She envisioned democracy as an acknowledgement that the lives of citizens are connected with one another and their relationship creates a duty to comprehend the difficulties and circumstances of fellow citizens. Reciprocity of social relations is critical for providing citizens with the compassionate foundation essential to strengthen democracy.
Social arrangements became experiments in the kind of democracy that Addams endeavored to promote an active social engagement. Democracy is considered as a dynamic organism that must be able to exist with the evolution of times in order to remain vital. Addams suggested that it was time for the progression of the political institution and morality of the United States. She stated that America’s founders, created the Bill of Rights which was based upon an individual logic of morality suitable for their period.
On the other hand, Addams viewed social morality as the right reaction to the contemporary rise of big cities next to the enhancements in technology and transportation that brought several individuals together. The time had come to give emphasis to the social relations essential for a pulsating democracy under the existing historical conditions. Some commentators described Addams as reforming a social democracy, one that accentuates a way of being over the political construction. Addams’ valorization of democracy did not necessitate a static object of affection.
Her objective was for democracy to grow and flourish which required ongoing discussion and change. Addams had written several books that addressed issues regarding peace. It was evident in her works that she kept away from discussing ideological positions. She focused on the principles of Pacifism and how the government could help bring tranquility within the states, within their people and within other nations around the globe. Her philosophy is derived from a particular social, political and historical situation. Her theoretical work was about movements of working out tangible social issues.
Addams envisioned democracy, social justice and peace as mutually reinforcing. These concepts, according to her, had to advance and move together to achieve any one. These concepts remained apparent with all of her literary works and articles. The ideals of justice were given other sides that lead to reshaping peace movement. When dealing with the matters of war around the globe, Addams pointed out several things that individuals should consider in order to embrace tranquility. She made it very clear that she saw peace as more than the absence of war.
For Addams, peace represented a chance for social development because individuals were proficient of working simultaneously in order to accomplish social objectives. She viewed social evolution as developing in the direction of greater peaceful affairs and social synchronization. Collective peace was tied to individual peaceful relations such that common activism represented peace labors. On of the examples of this situation which was given by Addams involved the issue of the immigrants. Helping immigrants prosper in the United States was an act of serenity.
In this manner, given her obligation to democratic social advancement achieved through combined commitment in an attempt to promote sympathetic knowledge, Addams found out and stated that war is socially regressive. When war is fought with arms, it ends coherent and dispassionate conversations impeding the agreement necessary for social growth. War makes opposing human beings into ultimate others creating the antithesis of sympathetic knowledge. Those beings were considered as someone so alien that it is possible to be terminated.
Sympathetic knowledge is an experience which is imaginatively extrapolated. This concept was also visible in several of Addams’ books. This kind of knowledge was a rational effort to comprehend with other individuals. Sympathetic Knowledge belonged to a certain category in Social Philosophy in which Addams never failed to state in his books. Even though she used this with different issues, the significance remained the same. Addams also suggested social activism as the foundation that should be rallied around.
Addams challenged her readers to visualize heroism in the work of social activists to improve the lives of those living within the urban zone. Engaging to social activity would be beneficial to the advancement of the states, development of the humanity and would also result to the occurrence of peace. Without the voices of individuals, nothing could change and all will remain frightened and repressed. Jane Addams saw different possibilities and chances that peace could still be attained if individuals would find a way to move together as one nation.
She believes that the power to change and progress is within the hands of individuals who are willing to be involved with social activities and social awareness movement. The Newer Ideals of Peace contained somehow positive reactions toward maintain peace and orderliness. Addams probably wanted to give another approach to maintain harmony within individuals. By including different issues and situations that the nation has, Addams made a better and simpler understanding of pacifism.
The author did not fail to give justice to her contemporary views. Although other commentators, like George Mead saw few points that the book lacks knowledge of, Adams surely made another break in the history of America. Her works were full of ideals which were deeply rooted within the foundations of the problems. Many of what she stated could be applicable to the nation’s settings. If individuals would learn to understand, communicate and see things positively, then that would be the time when peace and harmony could be attained.
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