Civil ulydighed - Vejen ud af offentlighedens formørkelse?

Jesper Hinze, Mike Brandt, Svea Krukow, Malthe Carlsen, Malte Gyldenkærne & Ole Helms

Student thesis: Termpaper


Abstract This paper seeks to discuss a possible solution to a major problem in democracy, that was pointed out by the American pragmatist John Dewey in 1927. Dewey described how technological advancements, and the lack of care for the resulting consequences, in his time atomized the public, which became fragmented, passive and ‘eclipsed’. Unable to understand the increasingly complex indirect consequences of their actions, members of the public stopped participating both in politics and in their local communities. Dewey, true to his pragmatist roots, does not provide a solution that can easily be implemented regardless of context, but does describe that communication is essential if the public is to escape its predicament. The speed of technological advancements has accelerated rapidly since Dewey’s time and we, the authors of this paper, believe that the eclipse of the public is worse than ever. Our paper discusses whether civil disobedience, as described by philosophers Henry David Thoreau, John Rawls and Peter Singer, can be compatible with Dewey’s remedy: communication. Our finding is that civil disobedience, as a form of communication, can contribute to the organization of an eclipsed public, thus making the members of the public more aware of the indirect consequences of their actions and more capable of taking political action.

EducationsPhilosophy and Science Studies, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Undergraduate or graduate
Publication date20 Jun 2016
SupervisorsMartin Ejsing Christensen


  • Singer
  • Thoreau
  • Civil disobedience
  • Dewey
  • The public and its problems
  • Civil Ulydighed
  • Rawls