Western philosophy has been greatly influenced by visual metaphors. Knowing something has commonly, yet implicitly, been conceptualized as seeing something clearly, learning has been framed as being visually exposed to something, and the mind has been understood as a ‘mirror of nature’. A whole ‘epistemology of the eye’ has been at work, which has had significant practical implications, not least in educational contexts. One way to characterize John Dewey’s pragmatism is to see it as an attempt to replace the epistemology (...) of the eye with an epistemology of the hand. This article develops the epistemology of the hand on three levels: A level of embodiment and metaphors, of craftsmanship and social practices, and of schooling and education. (shrink)
The article presents an interpretation of certain aspects of John Dewey’s psychological works. The interpretation aims to show that Dewey’s framework speaks directly to certain problems that the discipline of psychology faces today. In particular the reflexive problem, the fact that psychology as an array of discursive practices has served to constitute forms of human subjectivity in Western cultures. Psychology has served to produce or transform its subject-matter. It is shown first that Dewey was aware of the reflexive problem, and (...) found that it needed to be addressed. Next, three concepts of Dewey’s psychology are drawn in: subjectivity, habit and morality. Dewey is interpreted as articulating what we today would call a practice-orientated approach to psychology, in which moral and practical reasoning is seen as a dimension of all knowledge and action. Subjectivity is understood as a function emerging with complex interaction. Finally, a Deweyan approach to how psychology and other social sciences can cope with, and make positive use of, the reflexive problem, is outlined. By acknowledging their existence in the world they study, i.e. by becoming moral sciences that realize their moral and political implications, the social sciences can become problem-solving instruments that serve to help create a democratic public, a community as an actual social idea. It is pointed out that Dewey had an attractive view both of psychology – the subject-matter and of Psychology – the discipline and its practices – and ventured on the rare attempt at explicating how they are connected in what he called Great Societies, what we today would call post- or late-modernity, and how Psychology can help to constitute Great Communities in which human beings might flourish. (shrink)
Psychologists have traditionally been reluctant to investigate not just the historical nature of their subject matter — humans as acting, thinking and feeling beings — but even more so the historical nature of their discipline, its theories and practices. In this article, I will try to take seriously the historical transformation in the West from industrial society to consumer society. After having introduced these socio-economic designations, I shall try to illustrate how the transformation relates to changes in significant societal practices (...) with a particular attention to education and work. Since its inception, psychology has been deeply involved in the management of human beings in and through these practices, and considerable changes have taken place in the dominant psychologies with the change from industrial to consumer society. I interpret psychoanalysis and behaviourism as psychologies of industrial society, and humanistic psychology and the more recent wave of social constructionism as psychologies of consumer society. With shifting psychologies also come shifting life problems and pathologies, which I briefly address. (shrink)
This article outlines three conceptions of culture: The normative, the anthropological, and the pragmatist. I advocate a pragmatist conception of culture as practices using the conceptual resources found in John Dewey's pragmatism. I argue that culture is not to be thought of as a distinct, non-natural ontological realm, but is nature as it directs itself intelligently through historically evolved social practices. In Dewey's pragmatism, culture is another name for human experience as a practical process. I further argue that we can (...) only have cultures if we presuppose the reality of certain moral values like truthfulness, justice, and respect for ritual. Finally, I argue that the deepest understanding of culture is a kind of practical rather than cognitive understanding. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
The idea of a logical and metaphysical gap between facts and values is taken for granted in much psychology. Howard Kendler has recently defended the standard view that human values cannot be discovered by psychology. In contrast, various postmodern approaches have sought to attack the fact-value dichotomy with the argument that psychological facts are inevitably morally and politically laden, and therefore relative. In this article, a third line of thought is pursued, significantly inspired by philosopher of science, Hilary Putnam. It (...) is argued that knowledge of facts presupposes knowledge of values, and that value judgments can be objectively right. In this light, the objectivity of scientific facts is not threatened by their entanglement with values. Psychology's objects can be described accurately only with value concepts, among them "thick ethical concepts." Different ways in which psychological science presupposes values are outlined. Finally, it is suggested that the distinction between epistemic and moral values is rarely useful in psychology, and should not be thought of as absolute. (shrink)
Preface -- Introduction: philosophy and qualitative research -- The historical background : philosophy from the Greeks to the 20th century -- British philosophies of qualitative research : positivism and realism -- German philosophies of qualitative research : phenomenology and hermeneutics -- American philosophies of qualitative research : the pragmatisms -- French philosophies of qualitative research : structuralism and poststructuralism -- Global influences on qualitative research : new philosophies -- Discussion -- References.
The good (Aristotle) -- Dignity (Kant) -- The promise (Nietzsche) -- The self (Kierkegaard) -- Truth (Arendt) -- Responsibility (Løgstrup) -- Love (Murdoch) -- Forgiveness (Derrida) -- Freedom (Camus) -- Death (Montaigne).