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Essays in Experimental Logic

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By: (1859-1952)

Essays in Experimental Logic by John Dewey is a thought-provoking and insightful collection of essays that delves into the principles of logic and the scientific method. Dewey, a renowned philosopher and educational reformer, explores the foundations of logic and reasoning, challenging traditional notions and offering new perspectives on knowledge and truth.

One of the key themes of the book is Dewey's emphasis on the importance of empirical evidence and experimentation in the pursuit of knowledge. He argues that logic is not just a formal system of rules and principles, but a dynamic process of inquiry and discovery. By emphasizing the role of experimentation in the development of logic, Dewey makes a compelling case for a more practical and pragmatic approach to reasoning.

Throughout the essays, Dewey also explores the limits of traditional logic and the need for a more flexible and adaptable framework for understanding the complexities of the world. He critiques the rigidity of traditional logic and argues for a more inclusive and holistic approach that takes into account the diverse range of human experiences and perspectives.

Overall, Essays in Experimental Logic is a challenging and thought-provoking read that will appeal to anyone interested in philosophy, science, or the nature of knowledge. Dewey's insights are as relevant today as they were when the essays were first published, making this book a valuable contribution to the ongoing dialogue about the nature of logic and reasoning.

Book Description:
In this early collection of formative essays, acclaimed American philosopher John Dewey argues that the idealistic, realistic, and analytic schools of philosophy fail to take into account the pragmatic and experimental nature of experience - common to science and practical experience, but alien to the abstract theorizing of coherentist and correspondence theories of logic. Here we find the essential groundwork for the mature naturalistic and process-oriented metaphysics that Dewey would elaborate in his later mature works such as Experience and Nature and Logic: The Theory of Inquiry. In his long introduction, Dewey provides a summary and precis of his experimental logic, taking specifically pains to contrast his approach with the emerging analytic logic of Russell and Frege. Chapters 3-6 take aim at the idealistic logic dominant in his time by providing a close reading and critique of the German logician Hermann Lotze. Chapters 7-8 argue for the distinction between acquaintance with an external reality and knowledge of that reality. Rather than disembodied and abstract, Dewey describes a logic arising out of the concrete interactions of organisms embedded within a natural environment. Dewey's logic of experience is essential to an understanding of his various projects, from education, to art, politics, pragmatism, and science.

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