Change in Dewey’s and Aristotle’s Self

  • Clara Fischer
Part of the Breaking Feminist Waves book series (BFW)


The common identification of Aristotle and Dewey as naturalists and philosophers of Bios gives some credence to Randall’s assertion that it would be easy to “exhibit Dewey as an Aristotelian more Aristotelian than Aristotle himself.”1 While it can certainly be said that Dewey and Aristotle share a bond owing to their naturalism and their placement in the sphere of Bios, one should remain cautious, though, of a conflation of their respective philosophies. There are several areas of discord where these two philosophers of nature are concerned, some of which I will return to within the context of an analysis of Dewey’s and Aristotle’s ethics. An examination of the self as moral being will help to further elucidate the relationship between Dewey and Aristotle on the one hand, and will provide a clearer picture of Dewey’s view of selfhood, on the other. In turn, this will allow me to use Dewey’s depiction of the self in explicating a feminist-pragmatist self, and its experience of transformative processes in part II of this book. Since Dewey can only be understood in his relationship to Aristotle, it is vital that this relationship be illuminated with regard to change in moral selfhood, before setting about the establishment of the feminist-pragmatist self.


Moral Agent Moral Knowledge Virtuous Person Nicomachean Ethic Virtue Theorist 
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  1. 11.
    See Chambliss, J. J., Educational Theory as Theory of Conduct: From Aristotle to Dewey, State University of New York Press, New York, 1987, especially chapter 3.Google Scholar
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© Clara Fischer 2014

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  • Clara Fischer

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