Philosophy 3387 American Philosophy Unit Three

Unit Three: Classical Pragmatism II (Dewey)

Phil. 3387/Freeland Fall, 1996

Dewey: "The Pattern of Inquiry" (pp. 316-34 in Thayer)

A. Opening (316)

Summary of previous chapters

Statement of key priciple: "Formal properties accrue to subject matter in virtue of its subjection t certain types of operations" -- a principle familiar in art and law, but also applicable to logic and science.

Examples, illlustrations from art and law.

B. Conceptions and inquiries are real

and existing (317-18); they can be studied objectively and empirically. Inquiries are formative and operational. This picture enables us to avoid three mistakes of traditional notions in logic:

C. More on inquiry (319)

"Good" vs. "bad" here are like good and bad in farming; goodness is a matter of what past experience suggests will be effective for our ends--here, reaching warranted conclusions. Definition of inquiry: pp. 319-20.

Summary (332-4)

To mention the temporal quality of inquiry is not simply to assert that inquiry takes time, but that the subject matter of inquiry goes through temporal modificatios. Knowledge is related to inquiry as its warrantedly assertible product.

There is are objects of inquiry in two senses: what goes into it (its subject matter) and what comes out or is the product (its content).

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