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John Dewey's Theory of Community


Feodor Fojas Cruz

The book explores the breadth of John Dewey's philosophy of experience and nature from its metaphysical to its socio-political dimension. It points to the theory of community as the center of his biological pragmatism and, hence, the key to his entire system. How do human associations develop into a human community? How does society bring about the emergence of «mind»? How can intelligence and freedom be the product of social conditions and simultaneously be the creative agents of society's culture? Is Dewey's instrumentalism, which takes the dialectical relations of freedom and social forces as a double-barrelled principle, a form of fatalistic humanism, as critics charge? The author seeks in Dewey's works responses to these queries and proposes a novel interpretation that not only encounters no circularity but also brings out Dewey's insightful solutions to problems (of alienation, cultural deterioration, etc.) that plague modern societies.
Contents: This book explores the metaphysical foundations of John Dewey's theory of community, reconstructs the elements of experience-nature transaction that form communities, and shows the implication and application of such a reconstruction to socio-political life. This book differs from others on the same topic in that it does not simply deal with isolated concepts in John Dewey but threads into a coherent unity choice fragments of his work. This could, then, serve as an important aid in understanding his entire philosophical system.