The bosky by-ways of the internet, and John Dewey

It’s half term week, and I’ve spent a peaceful half hour this morning, before embarking on the long process of waking up my teenager, meandering down the bosky by-ways of the internet. It took me, via Philip Ball’s blog post on a new book on the uncertainty principle ([amazon_link id=”0393067920″ target=”_blank” ]The Quantum Moment[/amazon_link] by Robert Crease and Alfred Scharff Goldhaber), to the Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy’s entry on John Dewey: “He is probably the only philosopher in this Encyclopaedia to have published both on the Treaty of Versailles and on the value of displaying art in post offices.” This is highly promising.

[amazon_image id=”0393067920″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Quantum Moment – How Planck, Bohr, Einstein, and Heisenberg Taught Us to Love Uncertainty[/amazon_image]

Dewey is someone who has always sounded appealing in fact, but is somehow a terrible gap in my knowledge. Which of his books should I start with?¬†[amazon_link id=”0809311623″ target=”_blank” ]The Quest for Certainty[/amazon_link] (1929) appeals, but so does¬†[amazon_link id=”0804002541″ target=”_blank” ]The Public and Its Problems[/amazon_link] (1927), especially having just read about Walter Lippmann. The internet obviously favours [amazon_link id=”1614272204″ target=”_blank” ]How We Think[/amazon_link]. Advice welcome.

[amazon_image id=”0271055707″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Public and Its Problems: An Essay in Political Inquiry[/amazon_image]

4 thoughts on “The bosky by-ways of the internet, and John Dewey

  1. The best place to start for a beginner on Dewey is The Public and its Problems. His whole philosophy is there, hiding behind his only work of formal politcal philosophy. Liberalsim and Social Action is also a good place to start. Of course if you want to start with the more formal statements on truth and knowledge The Quest For Certainity and Experience and Culture are also places to begin. The latter is very dense though. If you don’t mind leaving Dewey’s own work for a second, Robert Westbrook’s intellectual biography is also a brilliant place to start. it helps bring into context Dewey’s life and work and is very good primer. The major problem with Dewey’s body of work is that it is immense.

    I have recommended his later works but you could also delve into the Middle Works such as Human Nature and Conduct. But I think Dewey’s later work has less of the Hegelian elements in it and is better for it. Just my opinion though.

    Shameless plug to end. My own book on Dewey and globalisation is also great!

    P.s. Once you enter Dewey world it is hard to leave! Happy reading.

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