Toward a Non-Reductive Naturalism: Combining the Insights of Husserl and Dewey

William James Studies 12 (1):19-35 (2016)
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Abstract

This paper examines the status of naturalism in the philosophies of Edmund Husserl and John Dewey. Despite the many points of overlap and agreement between Husserl’s and Dewey’s philosophical projects, there remains one glaring difference, namely, the place and status of naturalism in their approaches. For Husserl, naturalism is an enemy to be vanquished. For Dewey, naturalism is the only method that can put philosophy back in touch with the concerns of human beings. This paper will demonstrate the remarkable similarities between Husserl’s and Dewey’s thought before contending that Dewey’s “naturalistic humanism” offers a conception of naturalism which is compatible with Husserlian phenomenology. Furthermore, reading these two philosophers together, this paper argues, can point the way forward to a naturalism which avoids the dismissal of the contributions made by knowing subjects carried out by dominant contemporary strains of reductive naturalism.

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Gregory A. Trotter
Marquette University

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References found in this work

Experience and Nature.John Dewey - 1958 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 15 (1):98-98.
Experience and Nature.John Dewey - 1929 - Humana Mente 4 (16):555-558.
Experience and Nature.John Dewey - 1928 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 35 (1):10-12.

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