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Change in Dewey’s and Aristotle’s Self

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Moral Agent Moral Knowledge Virtuous Person Nicomachean Ethic Virtue Theorist 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  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
  2. Chambliss takes this designation from Fisch, M., “The Poliscraft: A Dialogue” in Philosophy and the Civilising Arts: Essays Presented to Herbert W. Schneider, Walton, C. A., John P. (ed.), Ohio University Press, Athens, 1974.Google Scholar
  3. 18.
    See Grey, T. C., “Freestanding Legal Pragmatism” in The Revival of Pragmatism: New Essays on Social Thought, Law, and Culture, Dickstein, M. (ed.), Duke University Press, Durham & London, 1998, p. 260.Google Scholar
  4. 29.
    For more on this see Kraut, R., “How to Justify Ethical Propositions: Aristotle’s Method” in The Blackwell Guide to Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Kraut, R. (ed.), Blackwell, Oxford, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 40.
    Sidgwick, H., The Methods of Ethics, Hackett Publishing, Indianapolis, Cambridge, 1981, p. 376.Google Scholar
  6. 48.
    See Dewey, J., “From Absolutism to Experimentalism” in John Dewey: The Later Works, 1925–1953, Vol. 5: 1929–1930, Boydston, J. A. (ed.), Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale & Edwardsville, 1984, p. 156.Google Scholar
  7. 76.
    The complexities involved in interpreting (2) are explored in Williams, B., “Acting as the Virtuous Person Acts” in Aristotle and Moral Realism, Heinaman, R. (ed.), Westview Press, Boulder, 1995.Google Scholar
  8. 79.
    See Simpson, P., “Contemporary Virtue Ethics and Aristotle” in Virtue Ethics: A Crticial Reader, Statman, D. (ed.), Georgetown University Press, Washington, DC, 1997, p. 249.Google Scholar
  9. 80.
    See Hursthouse, R., On Virtue Ethics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1999, p. 36Google Scholar
  10. 87.
    Anscombe, G. E. M., “Modern Moral Philosophy,” Philosophy, Vol. 33, No. 124, Jan. 1958, pp. 1–19, p. 8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 88.
    For more on this see Statman, D., “Introduction” in Virtue Ethics: A Critical Reader, Statman, D. (ed.), Georgetown University Press, Washington, DC, 1997.Google Scholar
  12. 97.
    Sichel, B. A., Moral Education: Character, Community, and Ideals, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1988, p. 42.Google Scholar
  13. 104.
    Putnam, R. A., “Reciprocity,” Ethics, Vol. 98, No. 2, Jan. 1988, pp. 379–389, p. 381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 130.
    See Mixon, D., “The Place of Habit in the Control of Action” in John Dewey: Critical Assessments, Vol. 1, Tiles, J. E. (ed.), Routledge, London, 1992.Google Scholar
  15. 135.
    and Dewey, J., “Philosophy and Education” in John Dewey: The Later Works, 1925–1953, Vol. 5: 1929–1930, Boydston, J. A. (ed.), Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale & Edwardsville, 1984;Google Scholar

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© Clara Fischer 2014

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  • Clara Fischer

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