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Experience and Nature

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  146 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Mr. Dewey believes that the method of empirical naturalism presented in this volume provides the way, and the only way by which one can freely accept the standpoint and conclusions of modern science. Contents: experience and philosophic method; existence as precarious and as stable; nature, ends and histories; nature, means and knowledge; nature, communication and as meani ...more
Paperback, 468 pages
Published July 26th 2003 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1925)
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What can I say? I think the world needs another John Dewey. Or three. He'd save us all with brilliant, clear philosophical prose just mysterious enough to keep us wondering and just hopeful enough to keep us from despair. His appreciation for the complexity of nature and human experience is almost as astounding as his ability to articulate it.

There are parts of this book that are outdated, but then it's almost a century old. He does a great job of predicting some of the problems faced by modern
Fascinating, but difficult. This is Dewey working out his metaphysics; not for the faint-hearted, and might be difficult for someone without some grounding in the earlier, traditional philosophers such as Aristotle, Plato, Spinoza, Kant, and Hegel. That said, Dewey's point is clear: your worldview and approach to life, indeed, the ability to solve real world problems, will always be partial and distorted if you insist on seeing nature and experience as existing in separate realms rather than as ...more
After reading this, it's obvious to me that the current neuroscientists like Antonio Damasio and William Connelly have built upon the pragmatic tradition of Dewey in decrying the separation of emotions and felt experience from the cognitive decision making process. Attachment theory owes a lot to Pragmatism as well. To understand the progression and evolution of modern thinking, this book should be mandatory reading.
Not many books deserve the hype heaped upon them. This one does. Oliver Wendell Holmes, the Supreme Court justice, said of this book that it's just what one would read if God Himself had tried to say how the world really is, but was incapable of expressing Himself clearly. I agree; the metaphysical vision of the continuity between "nature" and "mind" is correct, but Dewey is an awful writer.
I've read this book several times, and it is worth re-reading. This is one of Dewey's finest books. At places, it is difficult, but it is always worth trying to make it through. The only work that might be superior is Art as Experience.
Matthew Lukach
A fascinating look at the importance of experience in our lives. With particular emphasis on art, religion, democracy, and aesthetics, this book is surely to have an impact on the way you view the world.
Sergio Gomez diaz-ureña
Dewey's humanistic naturalism at its best. His bio-anthropological method and his Jamesian double-barreled conception of experience are to me very relevant perhaps more today than in his own day. Though, I certainly agree his prose is not extremely felicitous, this book is living evidence that 'technical' philosophy and humanistic aims are more than compatible, but, in fact, they must work together for the former not to fall into pedantic isolationism and general irrelevance and for the latter t ...more
Helen Perks
Dec 22, 2010 Helen Perks is currently reading it
heavy going for me!
If you can stay awake in spite of Dewey's rather dull writing style, you may actually find this to be a book full of remarkable and thought provoking ideas. Highly recommended for anyone who needs a course in pragmatism. In many ways, his view of experience as an iterative process and of knowledge as grounded in the body(embodied) is something that neuroscience is just starting to discover with far less intellectual elegance. Also, this is a must read for anyone interested in constructivist psyc ...more
Kurt Xyst
Rightfully included in the pantheon of extraordinary texts alongside Being and Time and Phenomenology of Spirit. The cornerstone of American philosophy.
Jan 09, 2008 Teresa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Students of life
Nothing is more stirring than pragmatism!
Read as part of a Senior Seminar as an undergrad.
Frank D'hanis junior
A work of enormous insight.
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John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey, along with Charles Sanders Peirce and William James, is recognized as one of the founders of the philosophy of pragmatism and of functional psychology. He was a major representative of the progressive and progressive populist philosophies of schooli ...more
More about John Dewey...
Art as Experience Experience and Education Democracy and Education How We Think The School and Society/The Child and the Curriculum

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“Of all affairs, communication is the most wonderful.” 5 likes
“An empirical philosophy is in any case a kind of intellectual disrobing. We cannot permanently divest ourselves of the intellectual habits we take on and wear when we assimilate the culture of our own time and place. But intelligent furthering of culture demands that we take some of them off, that we inspect them critically to see what they are made of and what wearing them does to us. We cannot achieve recovery of primitive naïveté. But there is attainable a cultivated naïveté of eye, ear and thought.” 5 likes
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