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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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A New Idealism

A New Idealism

(p.233) Eight: A New Idealism
Faith in Life

Donald J. Morse

Fordham University Press

This chapter seeks to show, in particular, that Dewey's view comprises an original version of idealism that contributes to both nineteenth- and twentieth-century thinking. It then shows how this underlying logic differentiates his early ideas from the philosophies of both Morris and Hegel, two of Dewey's most important influences. To underscore the continuing relevance of Dewey's early ideas, this chapter compares them with those of some important contemporary thinkers in Continental philosophy, most notably Theodor Adorno and Jean-Luc Nancy. Dewey's early ideas are still fresh and vital today. Lastly, this chapter shows that Dewey's early philosophy is important in another way: it actually poses a significant challenge to Dewey's later philosophy in important respects. In sum, Dewey's early philosophy is far more sophisticated than generally supposed and makes genuine contributions to philosophical inquiry, including, above all, its ability to confront philosophical pessimism.

Keywords:   idealism, contemporary thinkers, Continental philosophy, philosophical inquiry, philosophical pessimism

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