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Critical Examination of John Dewey's Position on Ethical Ideals

Journal: The Journal of Philosophical Theological Research (Vol.9, No. 33)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 121-146

Keywords : دیویی; اخلاق; فلسفه اخلاق; ایده­آل اخلاقی; دموکراسی;

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John Dewey's attitude in ethics is called instrumentalism, which is a kind of pragmatism. In his view, moral principles and criterions are not rules but 'general ideas' acquired through experience. These ideas are in fact instruments or devices for dealing with new situations. Dewey considers thinking as a tool for transition from a given ambiguous situation to a better one. Such a pragmatistic attitude presupposes the conditions of ensuring value judgments in the very behavior of human beings, rather than in a fixed prior authority such as divine commands or platonic ideas or pure intellect. Dewey's view, suggesting the rejection of ethical ideals, can be challenged. He holds that knowledge is relative; as a result, the society which is democratically moral loses its rational foundation.

Last modified: 2017-07-20 15:11:46