Mary Parker Follett, John Dewey, William James, Jane Addams, pragmatism, integration, experience, power-with, pedagogy, feminism, pluralism


For most of the 20th century Mary Parker Follett (1868–1933) was one of the “invisible women” in the history of American philosophy, although her work was taken seriously by philosophers of her time. While some have described Follett as an idealist, this essay develops the pragmatist and feminist elements of Follett’s philosophy. In particular, Follett’s concept of “integration” can be clarified by reading it through a pragmatist lens, connecting it with Dewey’s writing on experience, and with Jamesian pluralism. Follett also shares with Jane Addams an understanding of the creative integrative power of diversity; Addams directly referenced Follett in 1930 when she describes how conflicts were resolved in the process of mutual action. The latter part of this essay discusses the contemporary relevance of Follett’s integrative “power-with” methodology in feminist thought. Taking integrative work seriously requires preparation and training, and Follett’s writing on education for integration has implications for contemporary pedagogical practice.


This article was published as Whipps, J. (Summer 2014). A Pragmatist Reading of Mary Parker Follett’s Integrative Process. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, 50(3), 405-424.. No part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or distributed in any form, by any means, electronic, mechanical, photographic, or otherwise, without the prior permission of Indiana University Press. For education reuse, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center . For all other permissions, contact IU Press at .