Customary reflection and innovative habits

Journal of Speculative Philosophy 25 (2):161-173 (2011)
The most effective—indeed, the only—way to make the future different from the past is, in the judgment of pragmatists such as William James, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead, to remake the present. As Dewey notes, "present activity" is the only phase of human conduct really under our control (MW 14.184). 1 For just this reason, we must be mindful of the past and solicitous about the future as well as attuned to the present: "Memory of the past, observation of the present, foresight of the future are indispensable. But they are indispensable to a present liberation, an enriching growth of action" unfolding in the here and now (MW 14.182). 2 Dewey goes so far as to assert: "We do not use the ..
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