Bertrand Russell was an interesting and, at times, delightfully insightful thinker who lived a colourful life and fought for many important causes. Certainly he was, and still is, an inspiring figure for some philosophers, humanists, social activists, and educators. Unfortunately, on several occasions, he demonstrated only a limited understanding of the depth, complexity, and subtlety of John Dewey's pragmatic project for philosophy, education, and society. Doubly unfortunate, the Russellian critique of John Dewey articulated by Michael Rockier carries on this misinformed tradition. Thus, I contend, the Russellian criticisms offered by Rockier are at best superficial, at worst seriously misleading.
This paper responds to Rockier's Russellian criticisms of Dewey and attempts to take the dialogue between supporters of these two thinkers beyond knee-jerk criticisms. First, by offering an introduction to John Dewey's mature philosophy and twelve of his major works, my hope is that a clearer understanding of his integrated philosophical project will develop. Next, by building on some key points of Dewey's mature philosophy, I will attempt to show how Rockier's Russellian criticisms have consistently missed the mark.
Novak, John M.
"Renewing the Deweyan Response to Russellian Criticism,"
Education and Culture:
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/eandc/vol10/iss1/art4