Reconstruction in Philosophy

ISBN-10: 0486434389

ISBN-13: 9780486434384

Edition: 2004

Authors: John Dewey

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"A modern classic. Dewey's lectures have lost none of their vigor...The historical approach, which underlay the central argument, is beautifully exemplified in his treatments of the origin of philosophy."--Philosophy and Phenomenological Research "It was with this book that Dewey fully launched his campaign for experimental philosophy."--The New Republic Written by an eminent philosopher shortly after the shattering effects of World War I, this volume offers an insightful introduction to the concept of pragmatic humanism. Dewey presents persuasive arguments against traditional philosophical constructs, suggesting their basis in self-justification. He proposes, instead, an examination of core values in terms of their ultimate effects on the self and others. This experimental philosophy was received with both outrage and acclaim for daring to mingle ethics and science. Delivered in 1919 as a series of lectures, Dewey's landmark work appears here in an enlarged edition that features an informative introduction by the author, written more than 25 years after the book's initial publication.
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Book details

List price: $11.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Dover Publications, Incorporated
Publication date: 6/11/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 129
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.550
Language: English

John Dewey was born in 1859 in Burlington, Vermont. He founded the Laboratory School at the University of Chicago in 1896 to apply his original theories of learning based on pragmatism and "directed living." This combination of learning with concrete activities and practical experience helped earn him the title, "father of progressive education." After leaving Chicago he went to Columbia University as a professor of philosophy from 1904 to 1930, bringing his educational philosophy to the Teachers College there. Dewey was known and consulted internationally for his opinions on a wide variety of social, educational and political issues. His many books on these topics began with Psychology (1887), and include The School and Society (1899), Experience and Nature (1925), and Freedom and Culture (1939).Dewey died of pneumonia in 1952.

Changing Conceptions of Philosophy
Origin of philosophy in desire and imagination
Influence of community traditions and authority
Simultaneous development of matter-of-fact knowledge
Incongruity and conflict of the two types
Respective values of each type
Classic philosophies (i) compensatory, (ii) dialectically formal, and (iii) concerned with "superior" Reality
Contemporary thinking accepts primacy of matter-of-fact knowledge and assigns to philosophy a social function rather than that of absolute knowledge
Some Historical Factors in Philosophical Reconstruction
Francis Bacon exemplifies the newer spirit
He conceived knowledge as power
As dependent upon organized cooperative research
As tested by promotion of social progress
The new thought reflected actual social changes, industrial, political, religious
The new idealism
The Scientific Factor in Reconstruction of Philosophy
Science has revolutionized our conception of Nature
Philosophy has to be transformed because it no longer depends upon a science which accepts a closed, finite world
Or, fixed species
Or, superiority or rest to change and motion
Contrast of feudal with democratic conceptions
Elimination of final causes
Mechanical science and the possibility of control of nature
Respect for matter
New temper of imagination
Influence thus far technical rather than human and moral
Changed Conceptions of Experience and Reason
Traditional conception of nature of experience
Limits of ancient civilization
Effect of classic idea on modern empiricism
Why a different conception is now possible
Psychological change emphasizes vital factor using environment
Effect upon traditional ideas of sensation and knowledge
Factor of organization
Socially, experience is now more inventive and regulative
Corresponding change in idea of Reason
Intelligence is hypothetical and inventive
Weakness of historic Rationalism
Contrast of German and British philosophies
Reconstruction of empirical liberalism
Changed Conceptions of the Ideal and the Real
Idealization rooted in aversion to the disagreeable
This fact has affected philosophy
True reality is ideal, and hence changeless, complete
Hence contemplative knowledge is higher than experimental
Contrast with the modern practise of knowledge
Significance of change
The actual or realistic signifies conditions effecting change
Ideals become methods rather than goals
Illustration from elimination of distance
Change in conception of philosophy
The significant problems for philosophy
Social understanding and conciliation
The practical problem of real and ideal
The Significance of Logical Reconstruction
Present confusion as to logic
Logic is regulative and normative because empirical
Illustration from mathematics
Origin of thinking in conflicts
Confrontation with fact
Response by anticipation or prediction
Importance of hypotheses
Impartial inquiry
Importance of deductive function
Organization and classification
Nature of truth
Truth is adverbial, not a thing
Reconstruction in Moral Conceptions
Common factor in traditional theories
Every moral situation unique
Supremacy of the specific or individualized case
Fallacy of general ends
Worth of generalization of ends and rules is intellectual
Harmfulness of division of goods into intrinsic and instrumental
Into natural and moral
Moral worth of natural science
Importance of discovery in morals
Abolishing Phariseeism
Growth as the end
Optimism and pessimism
Conception of happiness
Criticism of utilitarianism
All life moral in so far as educative
Reconstruction as Affecting Social Philosophy
Defects of current logic of social thought
Neglect of specific situations
Defects of organic concept of society
Evils of notion of fixed self or individual
Doctrine of interests
Moral and institutional reform
Moral test of social institutions
Social pluralism
Political monism, dogma of National State
Primacy of associations
International humanism
Organization a subordinate conception
Freedom and democracy
Intellectual reconstruction when habitual will affect imagination and hence poetry and religion
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