Experience and Value: Essays on John Dewey & Pragmatic Naturalism

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  • &&DEWEYE X P E R I E N C E A N D V A L U EEssays onJohn Dewey &Pragmatic

    NaturalismS. Morris Eames

    Edited byElizabeth R. Eames andRichard W. Field





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    E: Essa ys o n Jo hn D

    ewey and Pra gm

    a tic Na tura lism

    S out he r n I llino isU

    niv e r s ity Pr e s sEam


    The problem of restoring integration and cooperationbetween mans beliefs about the world in which he livesand his beliefs about values and purposes that shoulddirect his conduct is the deepest problem of modern

    life. It is the problem of any philosophy that is not isolatedfrom that life.John Dewey, The Quest for Certainty

    Experience and Value: Essays on John Dewey and PragmaticNaturalism brings together twelve philosophical essaysspanning the career of noted Dewey scholar, S. MorrisEames. The volume includes both critiques and interpre-tations of important issues in John Deweys value theoryas well as the application of Eamess pragmatic naturalismin addressing contemporary problems in social theory,education, and religion.

    The collection begins with a discussion of the under-lying principles of Deweys pragmatic naturalism, includ-ing the concepts of nature, experience, and philosophicmethod. Essays Experience and Philosophical Method inJohn Dewey and Primary Experience in the Philosophyof John Dewey develop what Eames believed to be a cen-tral theme in Deweys thought and provide a theoreticalframework for subsequent discussion.

    The volume continues with specific applications ofthis framework in the areas of value theory, moral theory,social philosophy, and the philosophy of religion. Eamessanalysis of value exposes the connection between the im-mediately felt values of experience and the more sophisti-cated judgments of value that are the product of reflection.From this basis in moral theory, Eames considers the deri-vation of judgments of obligation from judgments of fact.This discussion provides a grounding for a considerationof contemporary social issues directed by naturalistic andscientific principles.

    In the third section, with regard to educational theory,Eames considers possible resolutions of the current di-chotomy between the factual worldview of science and thehumanistic worldview of the liberal arts. The comprehen-sive article, Deweys Views of Truth, Beauty, and Good-ness, connects the essays of the first and second sectionsand explores the placement of Deweys value theory withrespect to morals and aesthetics. With Creativity and De-mocracy, in the fourth section, Eames also considers the

    concept of democracy from the standpoint of current andhistorical issues faced by society. This article hints at amajor project of Eamess intellectual lifethe theory ofdemocracy.

    The volume concludes with a discussion of the diffi-culty of maintaining the values of religious experience ina scientifically and technologically sophisticated world, thevery topic that first brought Eames to philosophythemeaning of religion and the religious life. Suggested solu-tions are offered in The Lost Individual and ReligiousUnity.

    Experience and Value: Essays on John Dewey and Prag-matic Naturalism illuminates Eamess life of inquiry, a lifethat included moral, social, aesthetic, and religious dimen-sions of valueall suffused with the influence of JohnDewey.

    S. Morris Eames was a longtime professor of philosophyat Southern Illinois University Carbondale and an interna-tionally known scholar of American philosophy. Eamesauthored over one hundred articles, reviews, and poems,and his book Pragmatic Naturalism: An Introduction hasbeen translated into four languages. With Elizabeth R.Eames, he is also the author of Lectures in the Far East, theresults of an extended speaking tour in 1972.

    Elizabeth R. Eames, wife of S. Morris Eames and a pro-fessor emerita, was a professor of philosophy at SouthernIllinois University Carbondale from 1963 until her retire-ment in 1990. She is the author of Bertrand Russells Theoryof Knowledge and Bertrand Russells Dialogue with His Con-temporaries.

    Richard W. Field is an assistant professor in the history,humanities, and philosophy department at Northwest Mis-souri State University. He received his Ph.D. under the di-rection of S. Morris Eames in 1987 and has been associ-ated for several years with the work of the Center for DeweyStudies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

    As a commentator on the thought of JohnDewey, Eames is in the top rank. He cites themost salient criticisms of Deweys metaphys-ics and epistemology and then addressesthem directly and wisely. Paradoxically,

    though written decades ago, the issues raised inthese essays are those which are now under consid-eration. Frankly, I believe that both the criticismsand Eamess replies are more cogent and helpfulthan much of contemporary Dewey scholarship.Further, Eamess moral and aesthetic sensibility isas welcome in his prose as it was in his person forthose of us who knew and admired him.

    John J. McDermott, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy

    and Humanities, Texas A&M University

    Southern Illinois University PressP.O. Box 3697

    Carbondale, IL 62902-3697www.siu.edu/~siupress

    ISBN 0-8093-2474-1Printed in the United States of Americajacket illustration: Photo of Morris Eames courtesy ofAlumnus: Southern Illinois University

    (Continued from front flap)

    (Continued on back flap)


  • Experience and Value

  • Experience and Value

    Essays onJohn Dewey andPragmaticNaturalism

    Southern Illinois University PressCarbondale and Edwardsville

    S. Morris EamesEdited by Elizabeth R. Eames andRichard W. Field

  • Copyright 2003 by the Board of Trustees,Southern Illinois UniversityAll rights reservedPrinted in the United States of America06 05 04 03 4 3 2 1

    Frontispiece: Photo of Morris Eames courtesy of Alumnus: Southern Illinois University

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Eames, S. Morris, 1916Experience and value : essays on John Dewey and pragmatic

    naturalism / S. Morris Eames ; edited by Elizabeth R. Eames andRichard W. Field.

    p. cm.Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index.

    1. Dewey, John, 18591952. I. Eames, Elizabeth Ramsden. II.Field, Richard W., 1957 III. Title.

    B945.D44 E26 2002191dc21ISBN 0-8093-2474-1 (alk. paper) 2002021184

    Printed on recycled paper.

    The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American NationalStandard for Information SciencesPermanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials,ANSI Z39.48-1992.

  • Contents

    Acknowledgments viiEditorial Note ixIntroduction xi

    Elizabeth R. EamesKey to Citations of John Deweys Writings xv

    PART ONE. THE PRAGMATIC METHOD1. The Leading Principles of Pragmatic Naturalism 3

    Coauthored by Elizabeth Ramsden Eames2. Experience and Philosophical Method in John Dewey 143. Primary Experience in the Philosophy of John Dewey 29

    PART TWO. VALUE THEORY4. The Cognitive and the Noncognitive in Deweys

    Theory of Valuation 415. Immediate and Mediated Values 55

    PART THREE. MORALS6. Valuing, Obligation, and Evaluation 63

    7. Deweys Views of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness 74

    PART FOUR. SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY8. General Education and the Two Cultures 919. Scientific Grounds for Valuational Norms 101

    10. Creativity and Democracy 107

    PART FIVE. RELIGION11. The Lost Individual and Religious Unity 12712. Religion as the Quality of Excellence 139

    Bibliography 153Index 159

  • Acknowledgments

    We would like to express appreciation first of all to the editors ofthe publications in which the included essays first appeared. Theseinclude the following: The Personalist, the Midwestern Journal of Phi-losophy, The Monist, the Journal of Philosophy, Akten des XIV Inter-nationalen Kongresses fr Philosophie, Philosophy and Phenomenologi-cal Research, Educational Theory, Alumnus, and the Journal of SocialPhilosophy.

    The editors would also like to acknowledge the meetings and venuesat which the initial versions of a number of the essays included in thisvolume were presented. These include the following: the Missouri StatePhilosophical Association, John F. Kennedy College, the Fourteenth In-ternational Congress for Philosophy, the Society for the Philosophy ofCreativity, and Culver-Stockton College.

    Finally, we are grateful for the assistance of a number of individualswho contributed in various ways to the completion of the editing of thepresent volume. Ivan Lee Eames, Morris Eamess son, offered valuableadvice at the initial stages of the project. Dr. Larry Hickman, the direc-tor of the Center for Dewey Studies, graciously placed the resources ofthe Center at our disposal. In addition, we wish to thank several peopleat Southern Illinois University Press for their valuable assistance. JamesD. Simmons, editorial director of the Press, offered valuable advice con-cerning the preparation of the manuscript. Susan Wilson and Carol Burnshave been especially helpful in bringing the project to completion.


  • Editorial Note

    While editing the original texts for the present compilation, the edi-tors considered primarily two criteria. First, during S. MorrisEamess later career he became concerned with the gender bias of hisearlier writings. One indication of this concern was the revision of LogicalMethods undertaken by the Eameses that included a degendering of thelanguage of the book. In accordance with this concern, the editors havedegendered the original language of the essays included in the presentvolume. The second criterion considered was present-day convention