Essays in Experimental Logic

John Dewey (1859 - 1952)

In this early collection of formative essays, acclaimed American philosopher John Dewey argues that the idealistic, realistic, and analytic schools of philosophy fail to take into account the pragmatic and experimental nature of experience - common to science and practical experience, but alien to the abstract theorizing of coherentist and correspondence theories of logic.

Here we find the essential groundwork for the mature naturalistic and process-oriented metaphysics that Dewey would elaborate in his later mature works such as Experience and Nature and Logic: The Theory of Inquiry.

In his long introduction, Dewey provides a summary and precis of his experimental logic, taking specifically pains to contrast his approach with the emerging analytic logic of Russell and Frege.

Chapters 3-6 take aim at the idealistic logic dominant in his time by providing a close reading and critique of the German logician Hermann Lotze.

Chapters 7-8 argue for the distinction between acquaintance with an external reality and knowledge of that reality.

Rather than disembodied and abstract, Dewey describes a logic arising out of the concrete interactions of organisms embedded within a natural environment. Dewey's logic of experience is essential to an understanding of his various projects, from education, to art, politics, pragmatism, and science.

(Summary by P. J. Taylor)

Genre(s): Philosophy

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Prefatory Note P. J. Taylor
Play 01 I. Introduction (§ I - IV) P. J. Taylor
Play 02 I. Introduction (§ V-VII) P. J. Taylor
Play 03 II. The Relationship of Thought and Its Subject Matter P. J. Taylor
Play 04 III. The Antecedents and Stimuli of Thinking P. J. Taylor
Play 05 IV. Data and Meaning P. J. Taylor
Play 06 V. The Objects of Thought P. J. Taylor
Play 07 VI. Some Stages of Logical Thought P. J. Taylor
Play 08 VII. The Logical Character of Ideas P. J. Taylor
Play 09 VIII. The Control of Ideas by Facts franklinvios
Play 10 IX. Naive Realism Vs. Presentative Realism franklinvios
Play 11 X. Epistemological Realism: The Alleged Ubiquity of the Knowledge Relation realisticspeakers
Play 12 XI. The Existence of the World as a Logical Problem franklinvios
Play 13 XII. What Pragmatism Means by Practical Matthew Muñoz
Play 14 XIII. An Added Note as to the 'Practical' Kathleen Moore
Play 15 XIV. The Logic of Judgements of Practice - Their Nature Kathleen Moore
Play 16 XIV. The Logic of Judgements of Practice - Judgments of Value I and II Jennifer Henry
Play 17 XIV. The Logic of Judgements of Practice - Judgments of Value III, IV, V Jennifer Henry
Play 18 XIV. The Logic of Judgements of Practice - Sense Perception as Knowledge ToddHW
Play 19 XIV. The Logic of Judgements of Practice - Science as a Practical Art realisticspeakers
Play 20 XIV. The Logic of Judgements of Practice - Theory and Practice franklinvios