Download Dewey (The Arguments of the Philosophers) by Ted Honderich, J. E. Tiles PDF

By Ted Honderich, J. E. Tiles

Dewey maintains to have an incredible impact on American notion. Tiles paints a accomplished photograph of his philosophy, and discusses his would-be critics equivalent to Bertrand Russell. This booklet could be of curiosity to complicated scholars of philosophy.

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Additional resources for Dewey (The Arguments of the Philosophers)

Sample text

James, for example, agrees verbally with Dewey that conception always takes place for the sake of some subjective interest, but he regards a concept as ‘really nothing but a teleological instrument’. ‘This whole function of conceiving, affixing, and holding fast to 34 SENSATION, EMOTION AND REFLEX ACTION meanings, has no significance apart from the fact that the conceiver is a creature with partial purposes and private ends’ (James, 1890, I, p. 482). This is the key psychological principle lying behind James’s pragmatism13 and it attracted Dewey to the extent that he was, when James proclaimed the new movement (and until he came to feel the term had outlived its usefulness), happy to follow James in professing pragmatism.

450), and it is the perception of these changes which is the experience of emotion. ). Many, even of those who looked beyond this summary statement which James marked as ‘crude’, saw in his theory only a materialist reduction, or an epiphenomenalist treatment of emotional experience. Dewey, however,15 saw the possibility of translating ‘into terms of concrete phenomena’ the ‘old idealist conception of feeling’ as ‘internalizing of activity or will’. The idea that one’s body is affected via a ‘preorganized mechanism’ by what one perceives did not worry Dewey; the point was not to find a vindication for some form of Berkelian immaterialism, but to defend a conception of mind as active in all its manifestations.

Questions of meaning are said to be distinct from questions of epistemology. This means that questions about how we might come to know the answer to a question has no bearing on whether it is a meaningful question. 20 Other questions we are to keep sharply separate are those which Russell sought to hold apart, questions of genesis and questions of justification (or in the philosophy of science, the context of discovery and the context of justification). Dewey was far from regarding justification as unimportant or from holding that our justification for using a concept or holding a belief was to be found in the events which lead up to our acquiring that concept or belief.

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