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Faith in LifeJohn Dewey's Early Philosophy$
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Donald J. Morse

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823234707

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823234707.001.0001

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Rehabilitating Dewey's Psychology

Rehabilitating Dewey's Psychology

(p.62) Three: Rehabilitating Dewey's Psychology
Faith in Life

Donald J. Morse

Fordham University Press

Dewey's Psychology is one of the great, underappreciated works of nineteenth-century thought. This chapter examines the main criticism that has been leveled at Dewey's Psychology since its inception and also shows why this criticism is invalid. It then turns to a consideration of this book's merits. Psychology is significant for two reasons: first, it argues that there is an infinite ideal, or Absolute, pertaining to facts that renders them meaningful to human beings, so that the threat of meaninglessness posed by modernism can be overcome; second, it argues that the infinite ideal is not a substance, an accomplished entity, but rather a force that disrupts all finite determinations and forever generates the possibility of new and better meanings in life—a conception of the ideal that enables Dewey to go beyond traditional readings of Hegel and offer a significant new version of idealism.

Keywords:   Dewey's Psychology, human beings, modernism, entity, idealism

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