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John Dewey and Continental Philosophy

Edited by Paul Fairfield

Publication Year: 2010

This volume comprises thirteen original essays by prominent scholars, all of which bring the philosophy of John Dewey into conversation with several currents in continental European thought, including Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Gadamer, Foucault, Derrida, and Deleuze.

Published by: Southern Illinois University Press

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pp. iv


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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: Overdue Conversations

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pp. 1-5

It is a surprise to no one well versed in both classical pragmatism and philosophy in any of the continental European traditions to hear that opportunities for fruitful conversation are plentiful across this particular boundary of thought, especially in the case of the greatest of American pragmatists, John Dewey. Dewey made no secret of his profound and lifelong indebtedness to the ...

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1. German Post-Kantian Idealism and Dewey’s Metaphysics: Mutual Themes

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pp. 6-25

The purpose of this essay is to note two mutual themes in post-Kantian idealism (hereafter, PKI) and Dewey’s early and early-middle metaphysics (roughly 1882–1912). These themes are (a) the turn away from subjectivism and (b) naturalism. Two “waves” of each of these are discernible: the first occurred in Germany circa 1790, the second in England and the United States circa ...

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2. Dewey, Hegel, and Knowledge after Kant

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pp. 26-43

The relation between American pragmatism and German idealism remains to be studied in depth. This chapter will focus more narrowly on some common themes in John Dewey and G. W. F. Hegel. There are obviously various ways to compare and contrast their two positions. In a recent paper, Richard Rorty stresses Dewey’s commitment to Darwinism in distinction to Hegel’s ...

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3. Traces of Hegelian Bildung in Dewey’s Philosophy

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pp. 44-68

Our research on John Dewey’s debt to G. W. F. Hegel convinces us that we can fruitfully view his philosophy of education as a development of the German Bildung tradition.1 In the first section of this chapter, we focus primarily on Bildung in the writings of Johann Herder, Johann Goethe, and Hegel. For these thinkers, Bildung was an organic model of education. More precisely, they ...

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4. Pragmatism and Gay Science: Comparing Dewey and Nietzsche

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pp. 69-89

It is seldom appreciated that all the first critics of the “Correspondence Theory of Truth,” especially Friedrich Nietzsche, William James, and John Dewey, were Darwinists. In epistemology, postmodernism begins as post-Darwinism, which explains similarities in the arguments of these otherwise different thinkers. Darwin did not elaborate on the epistemological implications of ...

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5. Dewey, Nietzsche, and the Self-Image of Philosophy

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pp. 90-110

John Dewey was an uncommonly gentle critic. Whether correcting common misinterpretations of his writings, replying to criticisms both charitable and uncharitable, or contesting philosophical positions not his own, Dewey was invariably measured in his criticism and a singularly mild-mannered philosopher. On the subject of the state of philosophy during his day, however ...

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6. Heidegger: A Pragmatist by Any Means

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pp. 111-125

As early as 1974, Richard Rorty was drawn to a fateful comparison between Martin Heidegger and John Dewey that appeared to confirm the “ontological” superiority of Heidegger’s innovations over Dewey’s and may therefore have led Rorty to propose his own “pragmatist” version of philosophy—that is, his “postmodernist” dismissal of philosophy—more in the spirit of his reading ...

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7. Science, Nature, and Philosophic Foundations: Dewey and Heidegger

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pp. 126-147

The reality of the perceived world as well as our mode of access to it has posed problems for philosophy since the rise of modern science, for the modern scientific view of nature gave rise to a reductionism that questioned the objective independent existence of many of the features or qualities of our ordinary experience. This resulted in the tradition of consciousness and object in which ...

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8. Pragmatism and Hermeneutics

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pp. 148-160

At first glance—even at second glance—pragmatism and hermeneutics seem to have little in common. Pragmatism is a philosophical movement that originated in the United States in the latter part of the nineteenth century. It is typically associated with such thinkers as Charles S. Peirce, William James, John Dewey, and George H. Mead. Hermeneutics—on some accounts—can ...

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9. Dewey, Gadamer, and the Status of Poetry among the Arts

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pp. 161-173

When Alcuin argued for the artes liberales in the Carolingian court, three things kept poetry from finding a distinctive place: Plato’s concerns about the corruptive power of poetry; poesis—“making”—suggesting poetry belonged to the mechanical rather than liberal arts; and the Pythagorean mathematicization of music. Through the Middle Ages, the best poetry could hope for was

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10. Educating the Self: Dewey and Foucault

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pp. 174-193

Richard Rorty once said that John Dewey waited at the end of the road Michel Foucault traveled.1 Rorty is right with respect to three key ideas which I explore below, but he is wrong about Dewey’s and Foucault’s respective philosophical positions on science in particular and application of intelligence generally. Dewey’s trust in scientific method is very much at odds with Foucault’s ...

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11. The History and Critique of Modernity: Dewey with Foucault against Weber

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pp. 194-218

In bringing the philosophical traditions of pragmatism and genealogy to bear upon contemporary debates regarding modernity, the work of both John Dewey and Michel Foucault has been subjected to misinterpretations that portray both traditions in a way that depletes them of the full force of their critical insight. This is unfortunate in part because it has led to a failure to ...

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12. Meanings, Communication, and Politics: Dewey and Derrida

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pp. 219-232

The literature devoted to the connection between poststructuralism, deconstruction, and pragmatism is as rich as it is divided.1 Richard Rorty claims that John Dewey and Jacques Derrida share hope and optimism for changing humanity, but whereas the former provides concrete pragmatic solutions, the latter is more of a conversant, fashioning a private self. Rorty remarks ...

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13. Eagerness for Experience: Dewey and Deleuze on the Problematic of Thinking and Learning

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pp. 233-265

Richard Rorty, in his Consequences of Pragmatism, acknowledging the pragmatic direction taken by both modern and postmodern philosophy, declared that “James and Dewey were not only waiting at the end of the dialectical road which analytic philosophy traveled, but are waiting at the end of the road which, for example, Foucault and Deleuze are currently traveling.”1 Gilles ...


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pp. 269-270


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pp. 271-272

E-ISBN-13: 9780809385850
E-ISBN-10: 0809385856
Print-ISBN-13: 9780809329878
Print-ISBN-10: 0809329875

Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2010