Fall 2010 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
John Dewey is America's preeminent philosopher, with a career spanning seven decades, and a life extending from before the Civil War to after World War II. Dewey wrote in nearly every area of philosophy, from ethics and political philosophy to logic, philosophy of science, and metaphysics, as well as making major contributions to psychology and education theory, and to practical politics. Throughout, Dewey relies on a particular vision of the nature of inquiry in general and philosophy in particular.
This course will be highly tailored to the students in the course. After spending some time looking at Dewey's influences and early work, we will turn to an examination of his writings on the nature of philosophy and his general theory of the methods of inquiry. Then we will turn to more specific areas of research, depending upon the interests of the seminar participants. In each case, part of our interest will lie on investigating how Dewey applies his methodological and metaphilosophical ideas to the specific area in question.
* The Essential Dewey (2 volumes)
* Reading Dewey, (ed. Larry Hickman)
* Jay Martin, The Education of John Dewey
Other readings as needed, depending on topics of student presentations.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
This course will be tailored to the interests of the students, and is therefore suitable for anyone interested in philosophical reflections on science, the arts, education, mind and psychology, language, communication, metaphysics, ethics and values, politics and democracy, logic, etc. A background in the history of philosophy, especially classical American philosophy, as well as in progressive-era American history, would be valuable but is not prerequisite.