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.
"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.
I. The antecedent conditions of inquiry (320-22): the indeterminate situation. Note that this situation is itself doubtful; doubt is not just subjective or "in us." Nature is an environment we're in, and the organism must decide upon a response.
II. Institution of a problem (322): The situation is precognitive; to formulate a problem makes it cognitive and is already the first step to inquiry. The problem helps make the indeterminate situation determinate, and itself helps determine the nature of the query and response.
III. The determination of a problem solution (323)
Statement of the problem must refer to a possible solution; inquiry is progressive. Example: problem of fire in a crowded hall. Some elements are definite and fixed (facts about fire and about people).
The possible solution represents itself as an idea: ideas are possible, not existing, to think of them requires symbols. Symbols are embodied ideas (objective not subjective).
Dewey criticizes all of the following for their notions of ideas (325-6): empiricists (copies of physical reality);
rationalists (saw importance of ideas, but treated them as =Reality, not as operational);
and Kant (recognized interdependence of perceptions or intuitions with concepts or ideas, but added in a third factor, synthetic understanding). In Dewey's view, perceptions and ideas function correlatively.
IV. Reasoning (326-7)
This involves developing the meaning of ideas relationally; for example, hypotheses in science develop in terms of constellations of meaning.
V. The operational character of facts' meanings (327-9)
Both observed facts (which are existential) and ideas (which are nonexistential) are operational. Despite their differences they must cooperate together, so as to meet a definite end; the facts must serve as evidence. Trial facts must be tested and proved.
VI. Common sense and scientific inquiry (329-31) Common sense and science share the same, common patterns of inquiry. Their difference is subject matter not method or logical form. This reflects a difference in their problems. Common sense: solutions to these problems employ symbols that are parts of the habitual culture of a group. This system is practical, not intellectual. It reflects the interests of the group. Science: this is a more disinterested inquiry; it is not limited to concerns of one group. The focus of common sense is on qualities (good, bad, secondary, tertiary, etc.). The focus of science is on relations (position, motion, temporal span).
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).