Tag Archives: John Dewey

Equivocations and professionalism

Those who work in American philosophy often suffer from an unfortunate set of professional blindnesses.  The list is long, and I won't go into listing them all.  But there's one worth noting here:  they seem to be totally unaware of how their judgment in terminology is questionable.  Exhibit 1 is the unfortunate name for the main scholarly society for of American philosophy: the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, for short, the SAAP.  Exhibit 2 is pretty much anything, other than 'pragmatism,' named by Peirce.  And then this line turns up in a (now, not so recent) book review in the journal of record for the area, Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society:

Hickman’s Dewey is the ultimate tool…

To be fair, the sentence then proceeds with the metaphor, comparing Dewey to a "Swiss Army knife" that is "ready for any job at hand," and so on.  But come on.  Just a little judgment here, people.  Just a little.