SAAP Annual Meeting 2014

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Naturalism, Realism, and Transactions in Dewey’s Later Thought

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In 1971, Thomas B. Colwell, Jr., argued for an “ecological basis [for] human community.” He suggested “naturalistic transactionalism” was being put forward by some ecologists and some philosophers at that time, but independently of each other...and at the exclusion of John Dewey. I examine Colwell’s central claim and his lament to begin a larger inquiry into Dewey’s later thought. I explore the following questions: 1) Was and is there a dearth of literature regarding Dewey as an ecological philosopher?; 2) If a literature exists, what does it say? Should Dewey be seen as biocentric, anthropocentric, or something else entirely? Are the terms used to evaluate Dewey better stated as his naturalism, realism, or something else?; and 3) Of what importance are the terms and concepts in understanding and, as a result, determining Dewey’s ecological thought in relation to education?

Author(s):

Deron Boyles    
Georgia State University
United States

 

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