Comments on James good, a search for unity in diversity

While Good’s book forces us to recognize the caricatures of Hegel and idealism that have dominated Anglo-American thought, Dewey’s relationship with idealism in general and Hegel in particular remains complex. Good proposes that the main reason for Dewey’s rejection of idealism was World War I. I find this implausible. Good downplays the central influence of James on Dewey, first with the Principles and then with his radical empiricism. By his move to Columbia in 1905 and in his article of that year, “The Postulate of Immediate Empiricism,” Dewey had rejected all types of philosophy that equated reality with the object of knowledge, including idealism and Hegel. For Dewey, reality includes types of experiences that are not instances of knowing and that ideals, functionally understood, are possibilities, not actualities.
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