- Purchase/rental options available:
Dewey’s critical conception of work deserves consideration because it combines two types of models of social critique that are usually considered separately in contemporary Dewey scholarship. In the syllabus Social Institutions and the Study of Morals, Dewey contends that the valuation of social settings should be grounded on criteria immanent to social experience, and he applies his model of immanent critique to work-related issues. In his philosophy of education, he highlights that institutional settings should be valued from the point of view of their formative effects, and in Democracy and Education, the formative effects of work are put to the fore. The case of work illustrates the fact that specific institutional settings require that immanent critique be complemented by critique of the formative effects. The psychological and social centrality of work implies that the problems met in the social experience of work produce effects that concern not only the social experience of work but also life outside of work. Therefore, these effects cannot be accurately tackled by an immanent critique of work.