John Dewey, was a philosopher. Active for 70 years as a scholar, he was a prolific writer publishing fifty books and more than eight hundred articles.
Many of these have been slated into various foreign languages. New volumes are still coming out with more Dewey material, mainly correspondence, and books and articles on him are appearing at a rapidly increasing rate.
Analysis of reflective inquiry. Perhaps the most important single emphasis of John Dewey is his insistence upon applying reflective or critical inquiry to problems or indeterminate situations.
What is involved in problem solving or thinking through a problem? What is critical inquiry? How does one apply intelligence to human affairs? Dewey’s answer to these questions is set forth in its simplest terms in How We Think, and a more sophisticated version is given in Logic; The Theory of Inquiry.
In a sense the phases or steps in a complete act of reflective thinking afford an outline for each of his major works, and he had a lifelong concern with what is involved in reflective thinking.
Experience is one of the central concepts in Dewey’s thought,occurring and recurring throughout his writing. Though he finally concluded that he might have done better to use another term, many of his most important works are concerned with clarifying it–for example, his Cases Lectures: Experience and Nature or his Art as Experience or Experience and Education.
For him experience constitutes the entire range of men’s relations to, or transactions with the universe. We experience nature and things interacting in certain ways made up of experience.
View of Knowledge. Dewey rejects the traditional epistemology which de the world and then asks about the possibility, extent and validity of He laughingly suggests that we might equally well have a in general-its possibility, extent, and genuineness-by nach and the food-materials were inhabitants of different knowledge in general.
Conception of philosophy. need for philosophy, Dewey
declares that philosophy must cease to be “a device for dealing with the problems
of philosophy”. But the problems of man as he sees them cover a range broad enough to include in one way or another most of the traditional problems as
well as many others. The method involves treating philosophy as vision.
He was interested in how ideas originate and become more complex, in the
parallels between human responses and lower levels, and in the continuity of
different species of organic life from the lowest forms to man. To understand the
present situation, he held, we inquire into its specific conditions as well into its