Phil 264 - Dewey - Pragmatism #2

Phil 264 - Dewey - Pragmatism #2 - Dewey's The Quest for...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Dewey's The Quest for Certainty (1929) Hand-out 2 out of 2 Summary of answers to study questions 1-6: Dewey has set the stage for his own instrumental theory of value by indicating what he finds objectionable about two alternative theories of value. Dewey's critique of these alternatives assumes that an adequate theory of value must facilitate "integration and cooperation" between our beliefs about the natural world and our beliefs about how we ought to act. Prior to the scientific revolution, Christianity facilitated such integration and cooperation. It did so by being quite explicit about the sorts of virtues that should guide our conduct (humility, compassion, mercy, charity, etc.) in the "here and now." But for many living in the Western world, the scientific revolution put an end to Christianity's power to unify beliefs about the natural world with beliefs about proper conduct. For the scientific revolution suggested (to put it mildly) that there is nothing "special" about human beings - literally and metaphorically, we are not the "center of the universe." All does not revolve around us in virtue of our special relationship with some allegedly "supernatural" being. Where, then, do we turn for guidance? The "current empirical theory" is of no help since it conflates an experience's being satisfying with its being satisfactory . Such a theory advises us to pursue whatever it is that we happen to find satisfying - period. Cleary, not a good idea. Were we all to abide by such advice, the results would be catastrophic from a sociological point of view. In fact, society as we know it would probably cease to exist. The transcendental absolute theory of value is no better, since anyone who endorses it ends up looking like a hypocrite. This is because the theory effectively stipulates that human beings (being imperfect) are intrinsically incapable of attaining moral goodness; they invariably "fall short." So the "current situation," as Dewey sees it, is basically this: We are in dire need of a means for unifying our post-scientific revolution beliefs about the world with our beliefs about how we ought to behave. Christianity has lost much of its influence, and two of the available theories of value are worse than useless. The
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 11/15/2009 for the course PHIL 264 taught by Professor Reimer during the Spring '07 term at University of Arizona- Tucson.

Page1 / 3

Phil 264 - Dewey - Pragmatism #2 - Dewey's The Quest for...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online