Dewey-Center Switzerland

The Dewey-Center Switzerland at the University of St. Gall opened in 2014 in cooperation with the Center for Dewey Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois, USA, and is connected to the University of St. Gall’s chair in philosophy.



For any requests or concerns please do not hesitate to contact the director of the Dewey-Center Switzerland Michael Festl.


Services for Visitors

Through the university library the Center offers access to the complete works of John Dewey as well as to valuable secondary literature. Moreover, the library permanently reserves a workspace for scholars visiting the Center. The workspace is equipped with a computer that provides access to the electronic edition of The Collected Works of John Dewey, The Correspondence of John Dewey, and Works About Dewey. The material as well as the workspace are freely accessible to visitors during library hours.

The Center offers consultation for scientific work on Pragmatism in general and on John Dewey in particular. Furthermore, we are happy to provide contacts to other scholars working on Pragmatism.



The Center conducts workshops dedicated to developing John Dewey’s philosophy for the challenges of the 21st century – to the ‘Future of Philosophy’ as Dewey would have it. Furthermore, since 2017 it organizes the ‘Dewey Lecture St. Gall’ which hosts an annual talk on Pragmatism delivered by a young scholar.


Dewey Lectures St. Gall (previous and planned):

Dewey Lecture 2022: May 18th: Dr. Michael Räber (Zurich): «Aufmerksamkeit und Vermittlung. Der Beitrag des Pragmatismus zu einer kritischen Medienphilosophie“ (Attention and Placing. Pragmatism’s Contribution to a Critical Media Philosophy).

The Dewey Lectures 2020 and 2021 have been cancelled due to Covid-19.

Dewey Lecture 2019: October 23rd: Frithjof Nungesser (Graz): «Die Sozialität des Handelns. Eine Rekonstruktion und Aktualisierung von George Herbert Meads Sozialtheorie» (The Sociality of Action. A Reconstruction and Actualization of G.H. Mead’s Social Theory).

Dewey Lecture 2018: November 21st: Dr. Tullio Viola (Berlin): «Artikulation und Bedeutung. Die Symboltheorie im Pragmatismus» (Articulation and Meaning. The Theory of Symbols in Pragmatism).

Dewey Lecture 2017: October 4th: Dr. Ana Honnacker (Hannover): „Sympathy for the devil. Zum Problem des Bösen aus der Perspektive des philosophischen Pragmatismus“ (On the Problem of Evil from the Perspective of Pragmatism).

For details on the talks, especially regarding time and place, please consult Michael Festl.


Workshops, Conferences, and Publications (previous and planned):

The Dewey Center Switzerland will host the Fifth European Pragmatism Conference in St. Gallen in 2025 (presumably in early June). More on it later.

The Dewey Center Switzerland held a panel at the Fourth European Pragmatism Conference in London in August 2022. The panel’s topic was “Social Progress and Radical Change”. The speakers were Isabel Kaeslin (Fribourg), Cedric Braun, and Michael G. Festl (both St. Gallen).

From June 9 to 11 the Center hosted the International Conference "Democratic Education Revisited". The Event’s Program, featuring distinguished speakers from the USA and Europe, can be downloaded here.

From June 6 to 8 2019 the Center organized an International Conference titled «The Reception of American Pragmatism in Europe». Federica Gregoratto and Michael Festl were responsible. The Event’s Program, featuring distinguished speakers from the USA and Europe, can be downloaded here. Based on the Conference the following book was published: Pragmatism and Social Philosophy edited by Michael Festl.

The issue 5/2016 of Deutsche Zeitschrift fuer Philosophie hosts a special feature on “Pragmatism as a Theory of Global Justice” (“Der Pragmatismus als Theorie globaler Gerechtigkeit”). Michael G. Festl (St. Gall) and Jan-Christoph Heilinger (Munich) are responsible for the special feature. It includes essays by Molly Cochran (Oxford), Daniel Bray (Melbourne), Michael G. Festl (St. Gall) and Jan-Christoph Heilinger (Munich). These contributions go back to the Dewey-Center’s inaugural workshop from April/May 2015 (please see below).

On November 25th and 26th 2016 the Dewey-Center conducted a workshop titled “The Future of Pragmatism”. Dr. Michael G. Festl (St. Gall) and Michael Räber (Zurich) organized the workshop. Its program can be found here.

The inaugural workshop "Justice and Cosmopolitanism: A Conversation Between Pragmatists and Rawlsians" took place on April 30th and May 1st, 2015. More information about the workshop can be found here.


University of St. Gallen
Dr. Michael Festl
Dewey-Center Switzerland
Unterer Graben 21
9000 St. Gallen