Friday, August 05, 2005

Not Expected and Not Essential...

Another nugget from Neil Coughlan's book, Young John Dewey (U Chicago Press, 1975), page 67, on the young Dewey's Hegelianism:

"...a notion of philosophy as the expression and defense of an ethos and not merely as a way of dealing with the theoretical problems arising in a particular limited institutional setting, such as the laboratories of the sciences or the issue-oriented dialogues of modern academic philosophy and its journals. This is not to say that technical or academic philosophers do not occasionally take on such a universal task but rather that, objectively, it is not expected of them and, subjectively, it is not essential to their conception of themselves as philosophers. In Dewey's case it was, and not to have done it would have been, however subtly or pardonably, to default."

Here is what is said about the author:

Neil Coughlan taught history at Wesleyan University (Connecticut) from 1968 to 1974. He is now studying law at Yale Law School.

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