John Dewey

John Dewey
John Dewey
  • Born: October 20, 1859
  • Died: June 1, 1952
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Philosopher









John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey is one of the primary figures associated with the philosophy of pragmatism and is considered one of the fathers of functional psychology. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Dewey as the 93rd most cited psychologist of the 20th century. A well-known public intellectual, he was also a major voice of progressive education and liberalism. Although Dewey is known best for his publications about education, he also wrote about many other topics, including epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, art, logic, social theory, and ethics. He was a major educational reformer for the 20th century.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quote Topics Cited
… the great equalizer. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
A democracy is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience. Democracies & Republics
A society which is mobile, which is full of channels for the distribution of a change occurring anywhere, must see to it that its members are educated to personal initiative and adaptability. Otherwise, they will be overwhelmed by the changes in which they are caught and whose significance or connections they do not perceive. The result will be a confusion in which a few will appropriate to themselves the results of the blind and externally directed activities of others. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
As long as politics is the shadow cast on society by big business, the attenuation of the shadow will not change the substance. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Regulation & Deregulation
As long as politics is the shadow cast on society by big business, the attenuation of the shadow will not change the substance. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society… Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Each generation is inclined to educate its young so as to get along in the present world instead of with a view to the proper end of education: the promotion of the best possible realization of humanity as humanity. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Life
Education proceeds ultimately from the patterns furnished by institutions, customs, and laws. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Every expansive era in the history of mankind has coincided with the operation of factors which have tended to eliminate distance between peoples and classes previously hemmed off from one another. History
Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Every thinker puts some portion of an apparently stable world in peril and no one can wholly predict what will emerge in its place. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
In order to have a large number of values in common, all members of the group must have an equitable opportunity to receive and to take from others. Members must be able to accept each other’s ideas and must be able to compromise. There must be a large variety of shared undertakings and experiences. Otherwise, the influences … educate some into masters, educate others into slaves. Miscellaneous ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Intellectually, religious emotions are not creative but conservative. They attach themselves readily to the current view of the world and consecrate it. Religion & God
It is not so long ago, as years are reckoned, that a scientist in a physical or chemical laboratory was popularly regarded as a magician engaged in unlawful pursuits, or as in impious converse with evil spirits, about whom all sorts of detrimental stories were circulated and believed. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Knowledge is humanistic in quality not because it is about human products in the past, but because of what it does in liberating human intelligence and human sympathy. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Knowledge," in the sense of information, means the working capital, the indispensable resources, of further inquiry; of finding out, or learning, more things. Frequently it is treated as an end in itself, and then the goal becomes to heap it up and display it when called for. This static, cold-storage ideal of knowledge is inimical to educative development. It not only lets occasions for thinking go unused, but it swamps thinking. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Law has always served the purpose of condensing and defining the moral wishes and expectations of the community. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Legislation is a matter of more or less intelligent improvisation aiming at palliating conditions by means of patchwork policies. Legislating & Legislative Process
Mankind likes to think in terms of extreme opposites. Human Nature
Men's fundamental attitudes toward the world are fixed by the scope and qualities of the activities in which they partake. Human Nature
Men's fundamental attitudes toward the world are fixed by the scope and qualities of the activities in which they partake. Human Nature
Not Guilty Miscellaneous
One cannot think of him [Theodore Roosevelt] except as part of the public scheme, performing on the public stage. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Scientific men are under definite obligation to experiment upon animals so far as that is the alternative to random and possibly harmful experimentation upon human beings, and so far as such experimentation is a means of saving human life and of increasing human vigor and efficiency. Humor ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology ;Animals
Society is one word, but many things. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The "State" was substituted for humanity; cosmopolitan gave way to nationalism. States. Nations & Nationhood
The community at large is under definite obligations to see to it that physicians and scientific men are not needlessly hampered in carrying on the inquiries necessary for an adequate performance of their important social office of sustaining human life and vigor. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
The development of science has produced an industrial revolution which has brought different peoples in such close contact with one another through colonization and commerce that no matter how some nations may still look down upon others, no country can harbor the illusion that its career is decided wholly within itself. Foreign Trade
The first step in freeing men from external chains was to emancipate them from the internal chains of false beliefs and ideals. Freedom & Liberty
The great scientific revolution is still to come. It will ensue when men collectively organize their knowledge for application to achieve and make secure social values; when they systematically use scientific procedures for the control of human relationships and the direction or the social affairs of our vast technological machinery. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology ;Social Sciences
The human being acquires a habit of learning. He learns to learn. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The method of democracy is to bring ... conflicts out into the open where their special claims can be seen and appraised, where they can be discussed and judged. Democracies & Republics
The movement for the democratic idea inevitably became a movement for publicly conducted and administered schools. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The person who is ill not merely suffers pain but is rendered unfit to meet his ordinary social responsibilities; he is incapacitated for service to those about him, some of whom may be directly dependent upon him. Moreover, his removal from the sphere of social relations does not merely leave a blank where he was; it involves a wrench upon the sympathies and affections of others. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
The reactionaries are in possession of force, in not only the army and police, but in the press and schools. Power
The situation that exists among nations in their relations to one another is such that it tempts even those who ordinarily come far short of cynicism to say that there is no connection between ethics and international relations. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
There is always the danger that increased personal independence will decrease the social capacity of an individual. In making him more self-reliant, it may make him more self-sufficient.... It often makes an individual so insensitive in his relations to others as to develop an illusion of being really able to stand and act alone -- an unnamed form of insanity which is responsible for a large part of the remedial suffering of the world Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
We are a people of many races, many faiths, creeds, and religions. I do not think that the men who made the Constitution forbade the establishment of a State church because they were opposed to religion. They knew that the introduction of religious differences into American life would undermine the democratic foundations of this country. What holds for adults holds even more for children, sensitive and conscious of differences. I certainly hope that the Board of Education will think very, very seriously before it introduces this division and antagonism in our public schools. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
What the best and wisest parent wants for his child must be what the community wants for all of its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely; it destroys our democracy. Families, Children & Parenting
When we consider the close connection between science and industrial development on the one hand, and between literary and aesthetic cultivation and an aristocratic social organization on the other, we get light on the opposition between technical scientific studies and refining literary studies. We have before us the need of overcoming this separation in education if society is to be truly democratic. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Where there is a complete manifestation of the Malthusian theory of population, friendliness develops with great difficulty to the point of active effort to relieve suffering; where further increase in population means increase in severity of the struggle for subsistence, aggressive benevolence is not likely to assume large proportions. On the contrary, when the cutting off of thousands by plague, or flood, or famine means more air to breathe and more land to cultivate for those who remain, stoic apathy is not hard to attain. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
Anyone who has begun to think, places some portion of the world in jeopardy.
Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another. Motivation
By object is meant some element in the complex whole that is defined in abstraction from the whole of which it is a distinction.
Education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Future
Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes. Failure
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. History
Man lives in a world of surmise, of mystery, of uncertainties.
Nature is the mother and the habitat of man, even if sometimes a stepmother and an unfriendly home. Nature ;Environment & Environmentalism
No man's credit is as good as his money. Money, Coins & Minting
One lives with so many bad deeds on one's conscience and some good intentions in one's heart.
Skepticism: the mark and even the pose of the educated mind.
Such happiness as life is capable of comes from the full participation of all our powers in the endeavor to wrest from each changing situations of experience its own full and unique meaning. Life ;Happiness & Unhappiness
The belief that all genuine education comes about through experience does not mean that all experiences are genuinely or equally educative. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
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. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.
Time and memory are true artists; they remould reality nearer to the heart's desire. Time
To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness. Happiness & Unhappiness ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
To me faith means not worrying. Religion & God
We only think when we are confronted with problems.
Without some goals and some efforts to reach it, no man can live.