Human Nature and Conduct: An Introduction to Social Psychology

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The problem with morality, according to Pragmatist John Dewey, is that it assumes an inherent lacking in human nature and then seeks, through constraining rules, punishment, and threat, to make humans act differently-act against their nature. This, he claims, is a battle doomed to fail.

In Human Nature and Conduct, first published in 1922, Dewey brings the rigor of natural sciences to the quest for a better moral system. By studying habit, impulse, and intelligence, he arrives at a morality that is firmly rooted the context of the world, accounting for thinking humans with individual circumstances that do, indeed, make a difference when determining right and wrong.

Students of sociology, philosophy, and psychology will be interested to see moral judgment investigated as a scientific question by one of America's most influential philosophers.

American educator and philosopher JOHN DEWEY (1859-1952) helped found the American Association of University Professors. He served as professor of philosophy at Columbia University from 1904 to 1930 and authored numerous books, including The School and Society (1899), Experience and Nature (1925), Experience and Education (1938), and Freedom and Culture (1939).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605200019
  • Publisher: Cosimo
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. 1 The Place of Habit in Conduct
Sect. I Habits as Social Functions 13
Sect. II Habits and Will 24
Sect. III Character and Conduct 43
Sect. IV Custom and Habit 58
Sect. V Custom and Morality 75
Sect. VI Habit and Social Psychology 84
Pt. 2 The Place of Impulse in Conduct
Sect. I Impulses and Change of Habits 89
Sect. II Plasticity of Impulse 95
Sect. III Changing Human Nature 106
Sect. IV Impulse and Conflict of Habits 125
Sect. V Classification of Instincts 131
Sect. VI No Separate Instincts 149
Sect. VII Impulse and Thought 169
Pt. 3 The Place of Intelligence in Conduct
Sect. I Habit and Intelligence 172
Sect. II The Psychology of Thinking 181
Sect. III The Nature of Deliberation 189
Sect. IV Deliberation and Calculation 199
Sect. V The Uniqueness of Good 210
Sect. VI The Nature of Aims 223
Sect. VII The Nature of Principles 238
Sect. VIII Desire and Intelligence 248
Sect. IX The Present and Future 265
Pt. 4 Conclusion
Sect. I The Good of Activity 278
Sect. II Morals are Human 295
Sect. III What is Freedom? 303
Sect. IV Morality is Social 314
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