John Dewey's Quest for Unity: The Journey of a Promethean Mystic

Abstract

This insightful and provocative discussion of John Dewey’s philosophy appears a decade after Richard Gale’s publication of his important book The Divided Self of William James (Cambridge University Press, 1999). In that earlier work, Gale exposed and explored the tension in James’s thought between the robust Promethean tendency to pursue a “morally strenuous life” and a passive mystical tendency toward unity with that which is greater than oneself. The present study is a kind of sequel to that work, as Gale shows the same tendencies to be operative in Dewey’s philosophy, however, not remaining in tension (as with James) but finally integrated or synthesized, so that he can be accurately portrayed as a “Promethean ..

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