The Grace and the Severity of the Ideal: John Dewey and the Transcendent (review) [Book Review]

Journal of Speculative Philosophy 19 (3):280-283 (2005)
In The Grace and the Severity of the Ideal, Victor Kestenbaum swims against the current of Dewey scholarship. He declares for and gives close articulation to the importance of transcendence in the philosophy of John Dewey. The guiding thread of the book is "the proposal that Dewey never outgrew his idealistic period. His philosophical achievement is not to be located in his naturalism but in the frontiers along which the natural and the transcendental touch" (137). Kestenbaum does not argue that Dewey defends a supernatural sense of transcendence; instead, he documents the modes of transcendence that, for Dewey, reveal themselves within the flow of experience. This is a learned and carefully developed book, one that will provoke pragmatists to think carefully about how growth, self-revision, and...
Keywords Grace  John Dewey  Transcendence
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DOI 10.1353/jsp.2005.0017
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