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ERIC Number: ED361836
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Pages: 41
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Unique Potential: A Metaphor for John Dewey's Moral Self.
Cunningham, Craig A.
This paper suggests that the current confusion regarding character formation is related to a postmodern dilemma about the nature of the individual child. By looking at John Dewey's concept of "potentials," and by applying this concept to his ideas about the self and experience, this paper develops a naturalistic version of the idea of "unique potential" (a "higher self") as a model to support a program in moral or character education. This model must provide the coherent view needed for an adequate conceptualization of character and also must meet the modern scientific demand for concepts grounded in the realm of experience. Specifically, this paper attempts to develop a model of the self using Dewey's epistemology. It is suggested that the concept of "unique potential" is an effective metaphor for the underlying unity of the self which could withstand the differentiations of empirical scrutiny. The discussion attempts to describe the fit between the eudaimonic concept of "daimon," or unique potential excellence, and Dewey's empirical, naturalistic epistemology. The concept is shown to be a useful heuristic device for understanding the self in its unified, organic, holistic aspects as well as in its specific, operational, microscopic activities. (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A