How Did John Dewey Influence Philosophy

1315 Words6 Pages
Evidently, Darwin’s principles continues to influence the scientific world at a noteworthy level, but Dewey argues that Darwin’s theories has influenced philosophical understandings by disbanding the philosophy of “fixed” and “final” while creating a new logic behind philosophy. Dewey begins his argument with a background on the origins of the classical philosophy of nature and knowledge. The classical philosophy of nature and knowledge, as Dewey paraphrased, “rested on the assumption of the superiority of the fixed and final; they rested upon treating change and origin as signs of defect and unreality.” Under the classical philosophy, the notion of a fixed purpose in the sense of attaining a predestined perfection prevailed over the notion…show more content…
He starts his argument of Darwin’s influence on philosophy by paraphrasing principle of natural selection, stating that Darwin argued that “if all organic adaptations are due simply to constant variation and the elimination of those variations which are harmful in the struggle for existence… there is no call for a prior intelligent causal force to plan and preordain them.” Dewey argues three main ways that Darwin’s logic has influenced philosophy. The first way is in the changing the focus of philosophy. This change, which focuses more on the experience, the process, the changes or the formerly ignored fluxes, “forswears inquiry after the absolute origins and absolute finalities in order to explore specific values and the specific conditions that generate them.” The second influence was in working to displace the classical philosophy which agreeably contradicts itself in its focus on final product. The third influence, a consequence of the first influence, was a new “responsibility [to] the intellectual life.
Open Document