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ERIC Number: EJ1176597
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Oct
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-2004
Dewey in His Skivvies: The Trouble with Reconstruction
McClintock, Robbie
Educational Theory, v67 n5 p545-575 Oct 2017
In this essay, Robbie McClintock argues that educational theorists have inflated John Dewey's deserved reputation beyond what the quality of his work can sustain. He briefly recounts how Dewey developed a program for reconstruction in philosophy, education, and social life with the aim of overcoming chronic dislocations in social life. McClintock sees two parts to Dewey's reconstruction: a negative program, in which Dewey rejects the metaphysical heritage that had induced these social dislocations; and a positive program, in which he advances scientifically grounded instrumentalities for a more humane conduct of life. McClintock hypothesizes that Dewey's negative reconstruction, based on facile historical reasoning, dismissed historical resources that could have strengthened his positive program to develop a naturalistic humanism, one more instrumental in the art of living. To explain his hypothesis, McClintock selectively shows how, in numerous works, Dewey rejected prior thinking unnecessarily as a means to advance his ideas, focusing in particular on Dewey's dismissive assessment of Immanuel Kant's and G. W. F. Hegel's work. McClintock criticizes Dewey's historical views to encourage present-day educational thinkers to avoid emulating them and to make full, creative use of the philosophical tradition instead. He closes the essay by suggesting how historical reason can anticipate future possibilities and thus inform present action, and by calling on all to use it in humanizing the lifeworld we share.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A