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Dewey Will Not Go Away

A respondent wrote of yours truly:

« ... the error of dealing with [his] arguments on the basis of the material that [he] has selected. ...  the fact that HE has pre-selected the evidence to his own ends. »

I select the Dewey quotes to illustrate points about Dewey’s philosophy.  The text is not taken out of context, and I provide the references so you can read more.

Anyone can select this text.  The text Dewey wrote is there to be selected.  That I selected it doesn’t make it go away, or mean something other than what Dewey said.

The more you read the more you will become convinced Dewey uses words like “experience” and so forth to mean something contrary to what they usually do.


Dewey gushed with praise over almost every aspect of the U.S.S.R. during its first 20 years, and he derided the men who were telling the world about the government’s murder and torture  even as he acknowledged the truth of what they were saying.

What do “a pile of isolated facts,” “dead, empty, evacuated of vital significance,” “insensitive” (my God) and “marked by a certain vacuity” mean to you?

To those who say we cannot judge Dewey for certain: we haven’t hallucinated reputable history books or dreamed up Dewey’s written work.

It was Sydney Hook who eventually  a very long eventually  persuaded Dewey to stop praising the Soviets.  But Dewey continued to praise their original goals, arguing with Trotsky over minor details.

Another respondent may not see the point of investigating “a dead man’s works”  his phrase  but when many teachers’ brochures feature a man’s endorsement, that man’s thought and character are relevant to you and your promotion of the Technique.