Quote of the Week: Dewey on Social Judgements

The evils in current social judgments of ends and policies arise […] from importations of judgments of value from outside inquiry. The evils spring from the fact that the values employed are not determined in and by the process of inquiry […].

-John Dewey, Late Works Volume 12, p. 496

The quote illustrates Dewey’s emphasis on the epistemic endeavour of inquiry. The values which lead our social judgements should arise out of this endeavour, at least as far as Dewey is concerned.

The quote also reveals how moralising Dewey can be concerning social judgments. He does not merely accuse the judgements of being bad, he accuses them of being evil. I find this moralising aspect of his theory the hardest to justify. In the end, I do not see how he can defend it without contradicting himself or accepting a fundamental revision to this theory.

If you want, you can add here the usual paragraph about defending the value of inquiry/science/truth in the age of alternative facts.


Where to Begin with a Blog?

Where to begin? G. W. F. Hegel, 19th century German Idealist philosopher, put a lot of emphasis on finding the right beginning for his books. He seems to assume that starting at the wrong point would botch the project. Partially this might have to do with Hegel’s method of not applying a method to an object of research (Sache), but rather to follow its internal conceptual development. This is the point where a number of difficult questions arise. What conceptual development is Hegel writing about? Does Hegel have a method or does he not? Nonetheless one thing should be clear: This is not an answer to the question of how to begin a blog.

Portrait of G. W. F. Hegel
G. W. F. Hegel

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