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If philosophy be criticism, what is to be said of the relation of philosophy to metaphysics? For metaphysics, as a statement of the generic traits manifested by existences of all kinds without regard to their differentiation into physical and mental, seems to have nothing to do with criticism and choice, with an effective love of wisdom. It begins and ends with analysis and definition. When it has revealed the traits and characters that are sure to turn up in every universe of discourse, its work
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Dewey opened up the door between empirical philosophy and the arts. The scientific method of discovery combined with the values of the current culture produce new beliefs or meanings. One is contingent upon the other. We can not have facts without values anymore than we can have values without applying them to facts. The only way to discover what is the meaning in the current society or situation is to look at facts and experience at the same time.
Dewey is asking us to accept the selective emphasis of the "inconclusive integrity of experience" as a starting point, but by doing so he is guilty of what he criticizes. How can there be "an empirical account of inconclusive integrity of experience," if experience is always changing? There cannot. What would define the account? Experience? Experience cannot be defined if it constantly changes. If experience is constantly changing, it can only be used to direct us to new and better meaning. If the "inconclusive integrity of experience" is the starting point for Dewey's philosophic method, it can not also begin with current society. It must start with the first experience. Either the basis for philosophic discussion is a historical account of the inconclusive integrity of man or the experiences of current society in which one finds oneself. It cannot serve both. One is based upon the refection of historical data without the benefit of experience, the other on the reflection of experience in the current society or culture. The experiences of past cultures may very well have been much different, and therefore they cam to different conclusions about those experiences.
04/03/2006 0 Comments | Add Comment
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