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The Logic of Democracy and Education
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Educ. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 59; doi:10.3390/educsci7020059

Useful Knowledge and Beautiful Knowledge in Dewey and Thoreau

Graduate School of Education, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
Academic Editors: Paul Standish and SunInn Yun
Received: 19 December 2016 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 4 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Democracy and Education at 100)
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Abstract

In order to see how the wisdom of American pragmatism can be usefully used in response to the crisis of humanities and of democracy and education, the purpose of this paper is to explore elements in Dewey’s thoughts that tend to be hidden in its familiar mainstream reception. The threads of these ideas are evident in Democracy and Education, but they become woven into more explicit expression in Dewey’s later work, particularly in Art as Experience. Following these threads makes it possible to reveal ways of thinking about Dewey’s pragmatism and education that take it beyond its limitations. Those limitations are to be understood in terms of a restricted account of problem-solving, instrumentalism, unqualified aversion to skepticism, and the absence of a tragic sense. Yet a greater sensitivity to these matters is there recessively in Dewey’s writings, and the reading of his work contrapuntally with aspects of Thoreau’s, helps to bring these to light. It is through such a reading that the potential of Dewey’s work as a response to the pressures of a globalized economy come to be seen. View Full-Text
Keywords: antifoundationalism; Beautiful Knowledge; Cavell; criticism of criticisms; Dewey; Emerson; global economy; pragmatism; problem-solving; useful knowledge; Thoreau antifoundationalism; Beautiful Knowledge; Cavell; criticism of criticisms; Dewey; Emerson; global economy; pragmatism; problem-solving; useful knowledge; Thoreau
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Saito, N. Useful Knowledge and Beautiful Knowledge in Dewey and Thoreau. Educ. Sci. 2017, 7, 59.

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