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John Dewey's Educational Philosophy in International Perspective

A New Democracy for the twenty-First Century

Edited by Larry A. Hickman and Giuseppe Spadafora

Publication Year: 2009

In this volume, eleven internationally recognized experts on John Dewey’s philosophy of education examine the reception of his ideas in Italy, Poland, the Slovak Republic, and Spain and provide their readers with a rich sense of Dewey's educational philosophy as a still largely untapped resource for the renewal of democratic institutions in our new century.

Published by: Southern Illinois University Press


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pp. vii

Earlier versions of the eleven essays in this volume were among the twenty-six published in John Dewey: Una nuova democrazia per il XXI secolo, edited by Giuseppe Spadafora (Anicia, 2003). In addition, earlier versions of three of these essays have appeared previously in English. Hilary Putnam’s essay was published as “Intelligence and Ethics,” in...

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pp. 1-3

The essays in this volume represent a collaborative effort to interpret the relevance of John Dewey’s philosophy—especially his philosophy of education— for twenty-first-century social and political institutions. As a part of this effort, they provide background information on the reception of Dewey’s ideas outside the United States that has not been previously...

Part One: Education as a Way of Life

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pp. 5

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1. Dewey’s Central Insight

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pp. 7-21

Dewey’s Gifford Lectures, published as The Quest for Certainty, are a wonderful presentation of his philosophy, including his ethical philosophy. One of the finest things about them, in my opinion, is the analogies that Dewey sees between the blinkers that traditional philosophers wear when they discuss epistemology and the blinkers they wear when...

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2. Dewey and the Education of Eros

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pp. 22-35

We become what we love. My book Dewey and Eros testifies to this tenet. There I expand on Thomas M. Alexander’s reflections on what he calls the “human eros,” by which he means the “drive to live with a funded sense of meaning and value.”¹ In the present essay, I want to show that for Dewey the education of eros requires unifying knowledge, ethics, and...

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3. Democracy as a Way of Life

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pp. 36-47

At the occasion of a banquet in honor of his eightieth birthday in 1939, John Dewey said, “we have had the habit of thinking of democracy as a kind of political mechanism that will work as long as citizens were reasonably faithful in performing political duties.” But, he continued, this is not enough; we must come to “realize in thought and act that democracy...

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4. The Problem of a Science of Education in John Dewey’s Thought

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pp. 48-58

Critical Deweyan literature has not so far clearly showed the links between philosophical, pedagogical, and political research. This is because it is difficult to distinguish Dewey’s own philosophical research from his educational theory and his political reflection. During his long life, he engaged in various types of cultural activities, including journalistic...

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5. Political-Pedagogical Itineraries in Dewey’s Thought (before and after the New Deal)

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pp. 59-69

In this essay, I argue that during the 1920s (and continuing into the 1930s and beyond), Dewey’s thought achieved its greatest maturity and complexity. It was during this period that he undertook the “philosophical reconstruction” that delineates not only his (critical) metaphysics but also his anthropology, as well as his approach to logic and politics. These...

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6. John Dewey and Progressive Education, 1900–2000: The School and Society Revisited

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pp. 70-83

More than one hundred years ago, John Dewey delivered three lectures in Chicago on the ideas underlying the experimental school he had founded three years earlier. Dewey’s revision of the stenographic record of these lectures was published with the title...

Part Two: The Reception of Dewey’s Ideas in Europe and Latin America

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pp. 85

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7. John Dewey and Pragmatism in Central Europe (the Case of the Former Czecho-Slovakia)

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pp. 87-116

In this essay, I will attempt to map Dewey’s reception and influence in Central Europe, particularly in the countries of the former Czecho-Slovakia, the Czech and Slovak Republics.¹ To demonstrate that this influence has not been very massive and why, I will provide a brief outline of the historical, cultural, and philosophical context. Generally, both...

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8. Reception of John Dewey’s Philosophy in Poland

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pp. 117-131

The reception of John Dewey’s philosophy in Poland depended on changes in history and political conditions of the country. The interest in Dewey began before the Second World War and continued into the late 1940s, up to the so-called Stalinist time. In the next decades of the last century, Dewey’s books were translated and discussed in Poland but not...

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9. Dewey in the Italian Elementary School

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pp. 132-142

One of the most interesting trends in twentieth-century Italian pedagogy concerns the philosophy of John Dewey. During the second part of the postwar period, Dewey extensively influenced Italy’s educational practice and inspired and characterized Italian lay thought, becoming a theoretical reference point concerning...

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10. Dewey’s Influence in Spain and Latin America

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pp. 143-158

After decades of neglect of Dewey and of his contribution, there is a strong feeling not only that grasping his conception of things is important if one wishes to understand the twentieth century, but that Dewey—along with Peirce and other American classical pragmatists—may very well prove to be a key thinker for the twenty-first century. More...

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11. Dewey and European Catholic Pedagogy

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pp. 159-168

John Dewey’s name became known in Europe in the beginning of the twentieth century. Subsequently, he achieved greater notoriety, thanks to writers like Kerschensteiner,¹ and translations of his works, such as L’ école et l’enfant, commissioned by Claparède, were frequently...


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pp. 171-173


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pp. 175-181

E-ISBN-13: 9780809386666
E-ISBN-10: 0809386666
Print-ISBN-13: 9780809329113
Print-ISBN-10: 0809329115

Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2009