In the final chapter of American Immanence, Michael Hogue writes that “[r]ather than asking the foundationalist question of what epistemology is needed to ground or justify democracy, the pragmatist asks what epistemology democracy entails. What ‘way of knowing’ follows from, or is appropriate to, democracy as an associational ethos of vulnerable life?”1 While Hogue and I have explored similar themes in our research on the promises and perils of democracy, this statement identifies a key difference in our respective approaches that has significant implications for the role that democracy can and should play in inquiry as well as for its potential to revolutionize civilization as we know it in the Anthropocene.

In what follows, I raise three interrelated points that interrogate that difference. The first pertains to the role of foundations, provisional or otherwise, in Hogue's work, and results in a challenge to the special status seemingly given...

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