Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Tiles, J. E. Review of Richard Gale, JOHN DEWEY'S QUEST FOR UNITY. NDPR (May 2010).
Gale, Richard. John Dewey's Quest for Unity: the Journey of a Promethean Mystic. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2010. Richard Gale professes to favor "determining the greatness of a philosopher . . . by the morally beneficial effects that the philosopher's writings have on the reader. By this criterion," he reckons, "John Dewey must be the greatest philosopher of all time" (9). However, Gale urges, Dewey's "grand normative vision" -- a "pyramid" the apex of which is growth, and the supporting strata of which are inquiry, democracy, freedom, communication and education -- needs to be freed from "his misbegotten attempt to root it in his metaphysics" (16). This metaphysics in its turn needs to be rescued from the implications of Dewey's "metaphilosophical theory about the nature of philosophy," which requires that a metaphysical theory be verifiable and contribute to meliorating the problems of men. This requirement "would rule out Dewey's metaphysics, along with most of his philosophy, as illegitimate" (ibid.). . . . Read the whole review here: http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=19787.