John Dewey Between Pragmatism and Constructivism / Edition 3

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Many contemporary constructivists are particularly attuned to Dewey's penetrating criticism of traditional epistemology, which offers rich alternatives for understanding processes of learning and education, knowledge and truth, and experience and culture.

This book, the result of cooperation between the Center for Dewey Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and the Dewey Center at the University of Cologne, provides an excellent example of the international character of pragmatist studies against the backdrop of constructivist concerns. As a part of their exploration of the many points of contact between classical pragmatism and contemporary constructivism, its contributors turn their attention to theories of interaction and transaction, communication and culture, learning and education, community and democracy, theory and practice, and inquiry and methods.

Part One is a basic survey of Dewey's pragmatism and its implications for contemporary constructivism. Part Two examines the implications of the connections between Deweyan pragmatism and contemporary constructivism. Part Three presents a lively exchange among the contributors, as they challenge one another and defend their positions and perspectives. As they seek common ground, they articulate concepts such as power, truth, relativism, inquiry, and democracy from pragmatist and interactive constructivist vantage points in ways that are designed to render the preceding essays even more accessible. This concluding discussion demonstrates both the enduring relevance of classical pragmatism and the challenge of its reconstruction from the perspective of the Cologne program of interactive constructivism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book is a unique collaboration by leading scholars of Dewey on both sides of the Atlantic. The contributors illuminate theoretical resonance, and dissonance, between classical pragmatism and contemporary constructivism."-David T. Hansen, Teachers College, Columbia University

"This tidy volume marks a milestone in the ongoing efforts of Larry Hickman to advocate for Deweyan pragmatism as a world philosophy. Like John Dewey himself-a social and political reformer on the international stage-Dewey's version of pragmatism is transactional, pluralistic, and resolutely cosmopolitan. In this tightly integrated collection of essays, a team of American and German educators place pragmatism and the Cologne-style interactive constructivism in dialog, and serving as an object lesson in itself for both approaches, provide a compelling argument for the international relevance of an always contemporary pragmatism. "-Roger T. Ames, University of Hawai'i

"The planetary reach of John Dewey's thought comes alive in this trenchant discussion of his epistemology and philosophy of education. It is salutary, indeed, that the American and German Center for Dewey Studies provide us with this refreshingly cross-cultural inquiry."-John J. McDermott, Texas A&M University

"A substantial contribution to the theoretical literature on constructivism and Dewey's pragmatismhighly readable and lively debate that should provoke stimulating discussion among philosophers."-Nel Noddings, Stanford University

"This volume grew out of the remarkably successful collaboration of American and German scholars. The contributors demonstrate the international scope and intense contemporary relevance of Dewey's thought. They achieve impressive clarity in their account of the relations of pragmatism to constructivism as it developed in the Twentieth Century."-John Lachs, Vanderbilt University

"A novel and significant collaboration by American pragmatists and German constructivists, this volume identifies, clarifies and critically develops the pragmatic-constructivist approach."-Michael Eldridge, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

"An ambitious, innovative work that seeks to bring together popular culture studies with political philosophy." -William Gavin, University of Southern Maine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823230181
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 3/16/2009
  • Series: American Philosophy Series
  • Edition description: 3
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry A. Hickman is director of the Center for Dewey Studies and Professor of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The most recent of his books is Pragmatism as Post-Postmodernism: Lessons from John Dewey (Fordham).

Stefan Neuber teaches at the Faculty of Human Sciences at the University of Cologne. He is co-director of the Cologne Dewey Center.

Kersten Reich is Professor of Education at the Faculty of Human Sciences at the University of Cologne and co-director of the Cologne Dewey Center.

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Table of Contents

1 John Dewey : his life and work Larry A. Hickman Hickman, Larry A. 3

2 Pragmatism : diversity of subjects in Dewey's philosophy and the present Dewey scholarship Stefan Neubert Neubert, Stefan 19

3 Constructivism : diversity of approaches and connections with pragmatism Kersten Reich Reich, Kersten 39

4 Dialogue between pragmatism and constructivism in historical perspective Kenneth W. Stikkers Stikkers, Kenneth W. 67

5 Dewey's constructivism : from the reflex arc concept to social constructivism Jim Garrison Garrison, Jim 84

6 Observers, participants, and agents in discourses : a consideration of pragmatist and constructivist theories of the observer Kersten Reich Reich, Kersten 106

7 Pragmatism, constructivism, and the philosophy of technology Larry A. Hickman Hickman, Larry A. 143

8 Pragmatism, constructivism, and the theory of culture Stefan Neubert Neubert, Stefan 162

9 After Cologne : an online email discussion about the philosophy of John Dewey Larry A. Hickman Hickman, Larry A. Stefan Neubert Neubert, Stefan Kersten Reich Reich, Kersten Kenneth W. Stikkers Stikkers, Kenneth W. Jim Garrison Garrison, Jim 187

Notes 243

Bibliography 253

Contributors 269

Index 271

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