Review of Metaphysics 22 (4):750-750 (1969)

Throughout his life, Dewey emphasized the importance of developmental categories. The question naturally arises, what were Dewey's philosophic beginnings? Traditionally, this has been answered by saying that Dewey started as a Hegelian. But the truth is that Dewey did not start his philosophic career as a Hegelian. This fine edition of Dewey's earliest papers and his book on Leibniz provides the reader with an excellent opportunity to study Dewey's first attempts in philosophy. We find Dewey beginning his philosophic career with discussions of materialism, Spinoza, Kant, and Leibniz. We see Dewey's early interest in education, the social sciences, and especially the "new psychology." There are reflections on religion and ethics, and the concern to make philosophy relevant to the practical affairs of men. Indeed one can see here the origins of many of Dewey's later leading ideas such as the importance of the category of the organic for philosophic analysis. Although this is Volume I in the projected first phase of the collected works of Dewey, it is actually the second volume to appear in the series. The same high level of textual analysis is employed here. There is a clear statement of the textual principles used, a helpful introduction to these papers by Lewis E. Hahn, an illuminating note on the texts by Jo Ann Boydston which helps provide the setting for each paper, and the full critical apparatus demanded by textual criticism. This is clearly a definitive critical text. All scholars and students of American philosophy must be grateful for the high standards already achieved by "Dewey Project" of Southern Illinois University.--R. J. B.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1969224100
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