Faith in Life: John Dewey's Early Philosophy

Faith in Life: John Dewey's Early Philosophy

by Donald J. Morse

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“A significant contribution to Dewey scholarship that adds an important element to our understanding of late 19th century philosophy in America.” —Scott L. Pratt, University of Oregon

This is the first book to consider John Dewey’s early philosophy on its own terms and to explicate its key ideas. It does so through the fullest treatment to date of his youthful masterwork, the Psychology, revealing that the received view, which sees Dewey’s early philosophy as unimportant in its own right, is deeply mistaken. In fact, Dewey’s early philosophy amounts to an important new form of idealism containing a new logic of rupture, which allows us to achieve four things:

• A focus on discontinuity that challenges all naturalistic views, including Dewey’s own later view

• A space of critical resistance to events that is at the same time the source of ideals

• A faith in the development of ideals that challenges pessimists like Schopenhauer and Nietzsche

• A non-traditional reading of Hegel that invites comparison with cutting-edge Continental philosophers such as Adorno, Derrida, and Zizek, and even goes beyond them in its systematic approach

In making these discoveries, the author forges a new link between American and European philosophy, showing how they share similar insights and concerns. He also provides an original assessment of Dewey’s relationship to his teacher, George Sylvester Morris, and to other important thinkers of the day, giving us a fresh picture of the man and the philosopher in the early years of his career.

Readers will find a wide range of topics discussed, from Dewey’s early reflections on Kant and Hegel to the nature of beauty, courage, sympathy, hatred, love, and even death and despair, in a book for anyone interested in the thought of John Dewey, American pragmatism, Continental Philosophy, or a new idealism appearing on the scene.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780823283088
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Publication date: 09/18/2018
Series: American Philosophy
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 331
File size: 481 KB

About the Author

Donald J. Morse is Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Philosophy at Webster University in St. Louis.

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