Context over Foundation

Dewey and Marx

  • William J. Gavin

Part of the Sovietica book series (SOVA, volume 52)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-v
  2. Introduction

    1. William J. Gavin
      Pages 1-7
  3. The Human Context

  4. The Cultural/Political Context

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 75-75
    2. Garry M. Brodsky
      Pages 77-118
    3. James Campbell
      Pages 119-145
  5. The Metaphysical Context

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 255-259

About this book


"I should venture to assert that the most pervasive fallacy of philosophic thinking goes back to neglect of context. III John Dewey " . . . philosophers do not grow like mushrooms, out of the earth; they are the outgrowth of their period, their nation, whose most subtle, delicate and invisible juices abound in the philosophical ideas. ,,2 Karl Marx Few issues are more heatedly debated in contemporary philosophy circles than that of con textual ism vs. foundationalism. The genesis for the debate was the publication in 1979 of Richard Rorty's Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, which announ~ed the death of traditional philosophy. By "traditional" here is meant the quest for a certain or apodictic bedrock upon which an overall general theory or schema might be erected. This approach, for Rorty, characterized most previous philosophy, but especially the era from Descartes to Kant. Further, the three major philosophic thinkers of the 20th century, Dewey, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein, each initially tried to construct a foundational philosophy but each of the three, in his later work, broke free of the Kantian conception of philosophy as foundational, and spent his time warning us against those very temptations to which he himself had once succumbed. Thus their later work is therapeutic rather than constructive, edifying rather than systematic, designed to make the reader question his own motives for philosophizing rather than to 3 supply him with a new philosophical program.


20th century Kant Ludwig Wittgenstein Martin Heidegger Marx psychology

Editors and affiliations

  • William J. Gavin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Southern MaineUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1988
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-7808-5
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-2903-6
  • Series Print ISSN 0561-2551
  • Buy this book on publisher's site