John Dewey


– Pragmatism emphasizes the pervasive but often-overlooked role of practical activity in inquiry and experience.

– The history of philosophy is a misguided quest for certain knowledge of an unchanging reality.

– Scientific method, as a method linking the acquisition of knowledge to practical activity, is to be generalized and adopted as the method of all inquiry, including all aspects of philosophical inquiry.

– Knowledge is properly understood as warrantedly assertible belief.

– Art is experience aiming at the production of objects that, as experienced, yield continuously renewed delights.

– Ethics involves relating the desirable to the desired.

– Education is best practiced as the art of inquiry rather than as the mere transference of factual knowledge.


John Dewey was an American psychologist, philosopher, educator, social critic and political activist.

He was born in Burlington, Vermont, on 20 October 1859. Dewey graduated from the University of Vermont in 1879, and received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1884. He started his career at the University of Michigan, teaching there from 1884 to 1888 and 1889-1894, with a one year term at the University of Minnesota in 1888.

In 1894 he became the chairman of the department of philosophy, psychology, and pedagogy at the University of Chicago. In 1899, John Dewey was elected president of the American Psychological Association, and in 1905 he became president of the American Philosophical Association. Dewey taught at Columbia University from 1905 until he retired in 1930, and occasionally taught as professor emeritus until 1939.

During his years at Columbia he traveled the world as a philosopher, social and political theorist, and educational consultant. Among his major journeys are his lectures in Japan and China from 1919 to 1921, his visit to Turkey in 1924 to recommend educational policy, and a tour of schools in the USSR in 1928. Of course, Dewey never ignored American social issues. He was outspoken on education, domestic and international politics, and numerous social movements.

Among the many concerns that attracted Dewey’s support were women’s suffrage, progressive education, educator’s rights, the Humanistic movement, and world peace.

Dewey died in New York City on 1 June 1952.

Major Works of John Dewey

– Leibniz’s New Essays Concerning the Human Understanding, 1886
– Psychology (1887)
– The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology, Psychological Review (1896)
– My Pedagogic Creed (1897)
– The School and Society (1899)
– Ethics, with James H. Tufts (1908)
– How We Think (1910)
– The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy and Other Essays (1910)
– Democracy and Education (1916)
– Essays in Experimental Logic (1916)
– Reconstruction in Philosophy (1920)
– Human Nature and Conduct (1922)
– The Public and Its Problems (1927)
– The Quest for Certainty (1929)
– Experience and Nature (1929)
– Individualism, Old and New (1930)
– Philosophy and Civilization (1931)
– Art as Experience (1934)
– A Common Faith (1934)
– Logic: The Theory of Inquiry (1938)
– Knowing and the Known (1949)

One thought on “John Dewey

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