John Dewey

United States pragmatic philosopher who advocated progressive education (1859-1952)

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All genuine learning comes through experience.
Anyone who has begun to think places some portion of the world in jeopardy.
Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming where everyone is interdependent.
Complete adaptation to environment means death. The essential point in all response is the desire to control environment.
Education is a social process. Education is growth. Education is, not a preparation for life; education is life itself.
Education is life itself.
Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.
Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.
Instruction is important.
Intellectually, religious emotions are not creative but conservative. They attach themselves readily to the current view of the world and consecrate it.
Intellectually, religious emotions are not creative but conservative. They attach themselves to the current view of the world and consecrate it.
It is our American habit if we find the foundations of our educational structure unsatisfactory to add another story or wing. We find it easier to add a new study or course or kind of school than to recognize existing conditions so as to meet the need.
Luck, bad if not good, will always be with us. But it has a way of favoring the intelligent and showing its back to the stupid.
Man is not logical and his intellectual history is a record of mental reserves and compromises. He hangs on to what he can in his old beliefs even when he is compelled to surrender their logical basis.
Modern life means democracy, democracy means freeing intelligence for independent effectivenessthe emancipation of mind as an individual organ to do its own work. We naturally associate democracy, to be sure, with freedom of action, but freedom of action without freed capacity of thought behind it is only chaos.
Skepticism: the mark and even the pose of the educated mind.
Social engaged intellectuals must accept reality as they found it and shape it toward positive social goals, not stand aside in self-righteous isolation.
The good man is the man who, no matter how morally unworthy he has been, is moving to become better.
The path of least resistance and least trouble is a mental rut already made. It requires troublesome work to undertake the alternation of old beliefs. Self-conceit often regards it as a sign of weakness to admit that a belief to which we have once committed ourselves is wrong. We get so identified with an idea that it is literally a pet notion and we rise to its defense and stop our eyes and ears to anything different.
The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.
There is more than a verbal tie between the words common, community, and communication.... Try the experiment of communicating, with fullness and accuracy, some experience to another, especially if it be somewhat complicated, and you will find your own attitude toward your experience changing.
There is no discipline in the world so severe as the discipline of experience subjected to the tests of intelligent development and direction.
To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.
We can have facts without thinking but we cannot have thinking without facts.
We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice or kindness in general. Action is always specific, concrete, individualized, unique.
We only think when we are confronted with problems.

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