Biography of John Dewey

EDITED BY JANE M.DEWEY[1]

BURLINGTON, Vermont, is one of those New England towns which are not very different today from what they were in 1860. Then, as now, it was the commercial and cultural center of the state. French Canadians have since come in to help build its industries; its charm has been discovered by wealthy persons from large cities who have built summer residences in and around it; the automobile has enabled many of the better-to-do inhabitants to move from the city to its surroundings where they have built houses of colonial type in spacious grounds. But it remains essentially the same town of settled New England character, with the same beauty of location, set on a hill rising from Lake Champlain. At the top of the hill is a plain from which the Adirondacks are seen across the lake to the west while the Green Mountains bound the view across green fields to the east.

In this town John Dewey was born on October 20, 1859, the third of four sons of a middle class couple. The first son died in infancy but Davis Rich Dewey, a year and a half older than John, and Charles Miner Dewey, as much younger, grew up and attended the nearby public school with John. To this school went almost all the boys and girls of the town, from all kinds of homes, well-to-do and poor, old American and immigrant. The few who attended private schools were regarded as "sissies" or "stuck-up" by the majority. For, in spite of the especial prestige of the few first families, life was democratic—not consciously, but in that deeper sense in which equality and absence of class distinctions are taken for granted.

It would be difficult to say what hereditary influences were


( 4) important in forming the Dewey boys. But if we consider cultural rather than biological heredity there is no doubt of the importance of the pioneer background in their lives. Their father, Archibald Sprague Dewey, was born in northern Vermont in 1811. Late in life he married Lucina Rich, nearly twenty years younger than he, and he was nearly fifty years old when his sons were born. Pioneer days did not seem far off to these boys for, as late marriages were the rule in his family, only four generations separated Archibald from Thomas Dewey, who settled in Massachusetts between 1630 and 1633. Archibald's father was born before the revolution; one of his uncles was said in the family to have been killed during the Revolutionary War by Tories disguised as Indians. Archibald told his sons of hearing the gunfire of boats during a battle on Lake Champlain in the war of 1812.

There are various traditions in different branches of the family about the Deweys before Thomas came to this country. A member of the family who had been collecting genealogical material about Deweys in this country for many years was enabled to publish it by the boost given the family name by the exploits of Admiral Dewey, which made many Deweys wish to know how they were related to "Cousin George." As expected in a published genealogy, the book provides progenitors of royal blood. This origin, however, is all on the female side; the Dewey origin remains plebeian. The probability is that the family came from Flanders with the weavers who introduced fine weaving into England and bore the name de Wei, "of the meadow." Family tradition states that the parents or grand-parents of Thomas Dewey left Flanders to escape the persecutions of the Duke of Alva. Certainly Thomas and his descendants were yeoman stock, farmers, wheelwrights, joiners, blacksmiths. Thomas Dewey witnessed documents with his mark; his sons signed their names; but none of his descendants in the line to which Archibald belonged had a college education until Davis and John, living near the University of Vermont, were enabled by low tuition and some help from scholarships to attend.

Thomas Dewey was one of the settlers of Dorchester, Mas-


( 5) -sachusetts, named for the English town from which many of them came. It is probable that they had much the same reasons for leaving Dorsetshire that led the Mayflower passengers to leave Devonshire about a dozen years earlier. Dorchester, now one end of the subway system of Boston, was for a time the most populous town in New England. Possibly Thomas found it too crowded for the combination of farming and a trade by which most of the settlers made a living. At all events, as early as October 1635, he started, with a number of fellow immigrants, on a new, hard, journey to Windsor, Connecticut. In Windsor his six children were born and received a rudimentary education. Their descendants spread out around the Connecticut River valley. John Dewey's great-grandfather, Martin, was born in Westfield, Massachusetts, in 1716 and lived there until he was unchurched for marrying his deceased wife's sister.

John's father, Archibald, came of a farmer's family but moved to Burlington and engaged in the grocery business. He served as quartermaster of a Vermont cavalry regiment for four years of the Civil War. With only a little schooling, which he supplemented by reading, his literary tastes were distinctly classical. He read Shakespeare and Milton, not for culture, but because of his enjoyment of their words and turns of speech. He often quoted Milton while he worked, rolling with delight the unusual and euphonious phrases. He had lost his taste for Carlyle before his boys were growing up, but enjoyed Charles Lamb and Thackeray. Through an associate he had learned the Scottish dialect and he took delight in reciting long passages from Burns to his children, finding satisfaction in Burns's type of humor. He disliked Emerson and Hawthorne, probably because of intellectual conversatism and a regard for conventional theology. He had, himself, the gift of picturesque speech which he admired in others and used it to compose advertisements which obtained local fame at a time when writing copy was not recognized as an art. One was: "Hams and cigars, smoked and unsmoked;" and he advertised a brand of cigars as "A good excuse for a bad habit." He had an extraordinary memory for details and often told his sons what he had been doing at the same date in his boyhood or


( 6) when he was at war. His energy was seldom directed toward advancing himself financially and he was said to sell more goods and collect fewer bills than any other merchant in town.

Lucina Artemesia Rich, his wife, came from Shoreham, Vermont, of a family supposed to have settled in this country at about the same time as the Deweys. The Riches were a more prosperous family; Lucina's grandfather was a congressman in Washington and her brothers graduated from college. Her father, Davis Rich, was known in the surrounding country as "Squire" Rich and served as a lay judge, locally known as a "side" judge, in the Addison County court. His reputation for fairness and understanding caused his neighbors in the township to bring their controversies to him for arbitration. Lucina, when a young woman, visited an uncle in Ohio who was, like all the Rich family, an active Universalist. The uncle wrote her father in Shoreham that she was attending revival meetings in the neighborhood, and he feared that unless her father intervened she would become a "Partialist." His forebodings were fulfilled and she became a member of the Congregational Church.

Her disposition was more intense and she had more missionary zeal than her easy-going husband, so that she was stricter with the boys and had more ambition for them. It was largely due to her influence that the boys broke with family tradition and obtained a college education; when their father was asked what his boys were going to do he usually replied that he hoped at least one of them would become a mechanic. The tastes of both parents contributed to giving the boys a wider range of good reading material than was customary for those of their financial circumstances. A public library founded while the boys were still in school and the University library widened the range of books at their disposal. They spent their own hard-earned money on a set of Chambers' Encyclopedia and on a set of the Waverley novels at a book auction and the latter, at least, they read.

In spite of the difference in age and temperament between Lucina and her husband their marriage was a successful one. The life of the boys was simple and healthful but somewhat


( 7) isolated from the current of life about them. John and Davis were book-worms and John was bashful, with the tendency to self-consciousness which so often accompanies that trait. A cousin, John Parker Rich, less than two years older than John, was almost another brother to him. While Archibald Dewey was in the army, John Rich, still very young, lost his mother and Lucina took charge of the Rich household. Their close friends and companions were the two older Buckham boys, distant cousins on the Rich side and sons of the president of the University of Vermont. Summer vacations were often spent on their grandfather Rich's farm, where the comfortable residence was only a few steps from the country general store. Nearby, on a branch of the Lamoille River called Lemon Fair, stood a sawmill and gristmill erected by members of the Rich family, where the boys spent many hours of curiosity and contentment. At other times they visited John Rich's father near St. Albans, Vermont. He managed a haypressing establishment and lime kilns, which were also sources of enjoyment, drawing the boys from books. School was boredom, but, as they learned fairly easily, not much tax upon their energies. They were younger than other boys in their grades, though not markedly precocious, and took little interest in games. However, they were unconscious of any unhappy differences between themselves and their mates, satisfied with their own company in work and play. From a present-day point of view, too much moralistic emotional pressure was exerted by the religious atmosphere, evangelical rather than puritanic, which surrounded them. But, in addition to the escape into the outdoors open to all small town boys, more positive broadening influences were not lacking. Their mother, weary of the long separation from her husband brought about by his service in the Union army, moved the family to his headquarters in northern Virginia for the last winter of the war. This was an almost heroic move for a woman of those days and the privations in this devastated district made a deep impression on the boys, young as they were.

The money the boys spent at the book auction they earned by taking a carrier route for the daily afternoon paper published in Burlington and by tallying lumber brought in from Canada


( 8) to the yards near the lake. While the family was not in very straitened circumstances, its needs were such that the boys took part as a matter of course in household activities. On their relatives' farms they helped with the work boys can do. Vermont was then, as now, a temperance stronghold, with the speakeasy problems usual in a prohibition community. Deploring the bad influence of the numerous "blind pigs," Archibald Dewey sought to offset them as far as he could by conducting with strict legality and great respectability the licensed medical liquor dispensary for the town. His sympathetic stories about this branch of the business gave the boys an early glimpse of a side of life their more stiff-necked maternal relatives preferred to ignore.

The unusual natural beauties of the surroundings were not consciously appreciated but were somehow absorbed. John and Davis tramped through the Adirondacks and to Mt. Mansfield. They outfitted Lake Champlain rowboats with a tent, blankets, and cooking utensils and explored the lake from end to end. On similar trips they rowed into Lake George or, with the help of a lumber wagon hired to carry the rowboat, descended the river and canal that connects Lake Champlain with the St. Lawrence and rowed up another river in French Canada to a beautiful inland lake. This Canadian venture was called a fishing trip but, according to their Indian guide, "la lune Útait trop faible;" in any case they caught few fish. Their usual companions on the boating trips were James and John Buckham. James Buckham had an extraordinary sensitiveness to all natural things and spent all his spare time in the woods. As he grew older he carried a gun, but this was only an excuse for the many hours he spent in watching animals and growing things in the country. On their trips into Canada the boys added to the French they had picked up in Burlington so that they read French novels before they studied French in school, novels of the most innocuous type, borrowed from a New England public library.

John Dewey was, as a young boy, particularly bashful in the presence of girls. As he grew older he and his brothers naturally became members of a group which included both boys and


( 9) girls of his neighborhood and this shyness wore off. One summer was spent camping at the foot of Mt. Mansfield in a group of eight or ten young girls and boys, with his mother taking charge. Two of these companions are still living in Burlington, Cornelia Underwood and her sister Violet, now Mrs. Edward Hoyt.

That his boyhood surroundings played a large part in forming John Dewey's educational theories is clear. As a boy and young man he saw almost all his associates assuming a share in household activities and responsibilities. Young people were brought into intimate contact with a whole round of simple industrial and agricultural occupations. On the other hand school was a bore, not only to his companions, but to Davis and himself, who were interested in reading almost anything except their school books, and its tiresomeness was mitigated only by the occasional teacher who encouraged conversation on outside topics. By the time he reached manhood and became a teacher himself, the growth of cities and the extension of the work done by machines had interfered with the invaluable supplements to school education provided by active occupational responsibilities and intimate personal contacts with people in all walks of life, which occurred spontaneously in his boyhood. By this time also, reading matter, instead of being sparse and difficult of access, was plentiful, cheap, and almost forced on everyone. This had removed the significance which formal schooling in the three R's possessed in the mainly agrarian republic in which he grew up. The realization that the most important parts of his own education until he entered college were obtained outside the school-room played a large r˘le in his educational work, in which such importance is attached, both in theory and in practice, to occupational activities as the most effective approaches to genuine learning and to personal intellectual discipline. His comments on the stupidity of the ordinary school recitation are undoubtedly due in no small measure to the memory of the occasional pleasant class hours spent with the teachers who wandered a little from the prescribed curriculum.

When John Dewey was fifteen he graduated from high


( 10) school. At this time the family lived in a house which still stands on Prospect Street, near the University of Vermont. His brother Davis had entered college the year before and John Rich was ready to enter with his cousin. Davis lost a year because of ill health and the three boys graduated from college together in 1879.

The University was small at the time; the colleges of engineering and agriculture, the first professional schools, had opened only a dozen years earlier. Eighteen students graduated in 1879. All students who took Greek, as did the Dewey boys, came in contact with the entire faculty of eight, except the professor of engineering. All studies were required. The first two years were given to Greek, Latin, ancient history, analytic geometry and calculus. In the junior year the natural sciences came to the fore. Professor G. H. Perkins taught geology, using Dana's text, and zoology, by lectures and demonstrations. He ordered his presentation of material on the theory of evolution. Included in his lectures on the development of animal life were scholarly accounts of the ideas of several of the early church fathers, showing that they did not hold to a literal seven-day period of creation at the immediate fiat of the Creator. In spite of the orthodox environment (the professor was a member of the Congregational Church) the emphasis on evolution aroused little, if any, visible resentment. The course in physiology taught the same year used the text written by T. H. Huxley. From this book John Dewey derived an impressive picture of the unity of the living creature. This aroused in him that intellectual curiosity for a wide outlook on things which interests a youth in philosophic study.

The University library subscribed to English periodicals which were discussing the new ideas which centered about the theory of evolution. The Fortnightly represented the more radical wing of scientific thought; the Contemporary Review was a moderate organ of more traditional views; whereas the Nineteenth Century steered a middle course. It was at this time that joint discussions of a single topic, known as "symposia," originated; at this time that Tyndall and Huxley exerted their greatest influence. Students were interested in biology more


( 11) from curiosity about the theory of evolution than from considerations of a technical nature. These periodicals discussed far more than this particular subject, however, for the controversy about evolution was but the forefront of the rising interest in the relation between the natural sciences and traditional beliefs. English periodicals which reflected the new ferment were the chief intellectual stimulus of John Dewey at this time and affected him more deeply than his regular courses in philosophy.

The senior year was given to introducing students into the larger intellectual world as a sort of "finishing" process, and featured philosophy. Professor H. A. P. Torrey gave lectures on psychology, a course based on Noah Porter's Intellectual Philosophy, and a shorter course in Butler's Analogy. Seniors read Plato's Republic and acquired some knowledge of British empiricism from Bain's relatively innocuous Rhetoric. President Buckham gave courses in political economy, international law and Guizot's History of Civilization. He was a remarkable teacher. With an orderly and logical mind he combined powers of clear expression. A man of positive convictions, he refrained from attempting to force them on his students and his teaching method was Socratic rather than dogmatic. The only contact students who were not called up for discipline had with him before their senior year was when he met freshmen once a week, nominally to discuss elementary moral questions, but really to make the students' acquaintance. The moral topics considered made little permanent impression on the future philosopher but he was abidingly influenced by one incident of the classroom. On this occasion President Buckham attempted to secure from any member of the class a statement of the general subject of the chapter assigned for that week's discussion. None could give it. After this at least one of the students made a point of making sure what he was going to read about before losing himself in the details of any topic of intellectual import.

The philosophic teaching of Professor Torrey was, like most philosophy taught in American colleges at this time, based upon the writings of the Scotch school. The idealistic-realistic controversy was not acute, and little was being written or said about Bishop Berkeley. The influence of the Scotch philosophers


( 12) was due to their insistence upon intuitions, which formed, before the introduction of German spiritualistic idealism, the chief intellectual bulwark of moral and religious beliefs against the dissolving effect of English empiricism. The rather dry bones of Scotch thought were somewhat enlivened by ideas and topics which persisted from the teachings of the Reverend Professor James Marsh, one of the first Americans to disregard the dangerous reputation of the German philosophers sufficiently to study and teach them. Their ideas were largely presented as reflected through Coleridge, but even in this form were regarded with suspicion by the orthodox. The ideas that institutions of society carried in themselves a spiritual significance and that the Bible was inspired because it was inspiring were considered dangerous even in the diluted form in which Torrey presented them. Marsh, as his Remains shows, had a speculative mind and it is probable that some of his writings first directed the attention of Emerson to German thought and to Coleridge as its interpreter.

These studies helped to fix the direction of Dewey's intellectual interests, if they did not settle his career at the time. His philosophical reading was extended by articles of Frederick Harrison in the Fortnightly, which drew his attention to Comte and caused him to study Harriet Martineau's condensation of

Comte's Positive Philosophy. Neither the idea of three stages of the evolution of society nor Comte's construction of a new religion interested him especially, but what was said about the disorganization of existing social life and the necessity of finding a social function for science remained a permanent influence in his thought, although in his own philosophy emphasis is placed upon the method of science rather than upon organization of its conclusions. Reading Comte and his English expositors first awakened in Dewey his characteristic interest in the interaction of social conditions with the development of thought in science and in philosophy. When Dewey was in the university each senior and junior student was required to prepare a speech for presentation; the best orators were selected to deliver theirs at a public exhibition. The title of one which he prepared but did not deliver, "The Limits of Political Economy," discloses Comte's


( 13) influence who subordinated political economy to sociology.

Dewey learned easily and always received fairly good grades. The studies of the senior year aroused him to such an extent that his record for that year is as high as has been obtained by any student of the college. He joined a local fraternity, Delta Psi, in his sophomore year and was made a member of Phi Beta Kappa upon graduation.

The summer following graduation was one of anxiety. Like many other young graduates uncertain about their life career he wanted a teaching position. His youth and inexperience made it difficult for him to find the job which his economic condition made it important for him to have, and when schools opened in the autumn he still had nothing. Then he received a telegram from a cousin, Clara Wilson, who was principal of the High school in South Oil City, Pennsylvania, informing him of a vacancy there. For two years he taught a little of everything, Latin, algebra, natural science from Steele's Fourteen Weeks. The first year he was paid forty dollars a month. At the end of the period his cousin resigned to marry and he also left, returning to Burlington. During part of the following winter he taught in a village school in the neighboring town of Charlotte. In Burlington he read some of the classics in the history of philosophy under the direction of Professor Torrey. Mr. Torrey took him for long walks in the woods and spoke more directly of his own views than he had in the classroom, disclosing a mind which under more favorable circumstances might have attained distinction. Among the journals in the college library was Speculative Philosophy, edited by W. T. Harris, who, while superintendent of schools in St. Louis, had come in contact with a group of German exiles of 1848 who were ardent students of German thought, especially of Schelling and Hegel. Dr. Harris's Journal, appearing somewhat irregularly, was for many years the only distinctively philosophical magazine in the United States and it became an organ for this group. Dewey's mind was now turned toward the teaching of philosophy as a career. He wrote an essay which he sent in fear and trembling to Dr. Harris, asking him whether its author should go professionally into philosophy. After some time Dr. Harris


( 14) wrote that the essay showed a philosophical mind of high rank. He published the essay in the issue of the Journal dated April 1882 (but appearing later) under the title "The Metaphysical Assumptions of Materialism." Dr. Harris's encouragement decided the new author to continue his studies and led him to write two other articles which were published by Dr. Harris. In their author's mature opinion all three articles are more notable for schematic logical form than for substance.

Encouraged by Professor Torrey and by Dr. Harris, he borrowed five hundred dollars from an aunt and started for Baltimore in the fall of 1882 to attend The johns Hopkins University. This move proved to be a permanent break with his boyhood surroundings. John Rich had gone into his father's business in Vermont, Charles Dewey also entered the business world and during most of his life was on the west coast where his brother did not see him often. James Buckham, who had shown a poetic interest in nature as a boy, was for a time one of the editors of the old and famous Youth's Companion but died before his talents came to full maturity. John Buckham is now a professor in the Pacific School of Religion, an interdenominational (though originally Congregational) Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California. Davis Dewey came to Johns Hopkins after several years of very successful high school teaching, at the beginning of John's second year. After receiving his doctorate in political economy he went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to take charge of courses in statistics and economics which had been organized by General Walker, then president of the Institute. Davis remained Walker's close associate as long as the latter lived and developed the course of study in engineering administration which is the Institute's equivalent of the schools of business now established at many large universities. His Course XV was the first, or one of the first, experiments in this field, and has proved one of the most successful. The fact that the courses were intended for engineering students put an emphasis upon the practical rather than the speculative aspects of economics which was thoroughly congenial with his preferences. He has been very active in the American Statistical Society, editing their publications and serving as dele-


( 15) -gate at international meetings. Although he retired from active teaching some years ago he is still, at eighty, editor of the 'American Economic Review."

Davis' years at Johns Hopkins were for John a grateful renewal of the close intimacy of school and college days, strengthening the friendship which has bound the two brothers to one another through the half century which has elapsed since. Although Davis Dewey is more conservative in his social and political opinions than his younger brother, the resemblance, physical and mental, between them is strong. Both have an unusual power of hard, disinterested work and of detached objective judgment. Both also have extraordinarily pleasant dispositions with the ability to laugh at much that would otherwise irritate them.

When John Dewey went to The Johns Hopkins University it had been open for some years for graduate study. President Gilman had gathered there a fine band of scholars and teachers with the intention of enabling graduate students, who had been going to Germany to prepare for a life of scholarship, to find what they wanted nearer home. A few students living nearby were permitted to take the last two years of undergraduate work but every emphasis was placed upon the graduate school. President Gilman constantly urged upon the students the feasibility and importance of original research. The very possibility of students' doing anything new, anything original, was a novel and exciting idea to most of these young men. They must have been aware that there were people in the world doing intellectual things which had not been done before, but their previous education had never suggested to them that they might be of this happy band. The atmosphere of the new university was thus exceedingly stimulating, an experience in itself that could hardly be duplicated later. Many of the students felt that it was bliss to be alive and in such surroundings. The seminar was then practically unheard of in American colleges but was the center of intellectual life at Hopkins. President Gilman's occasional enthusiastic talks in which he told of the intellectual and professional success of students who had gone forth from the university were ably seconded by Herbert Adams of the


( 16) department of history and political science under whom Dewey took a "minor." Students were few enough to be in intimate contact with each other and with the faculty. Among John Dewey's close associates, besides his brother Davis, were Yager of Connecticut, later governor of Porto Rico, Arthur Kimball, a roommate for a time, and later professor of physics at Amherst, Harry Osborn, who taught biology at Hamlin College near St. Paul and whom Dewey saw frequently during the year he taught at the University of Minnesota, Frederic S. Lee in physiology, and Joseph Jastrow and James McKeen Cattell in psychology. Cattell was not only a close friend but the active agency in bringing Dewey to Columbia after his resignation from Chicago in 1904. Such friendships were an invaluable supplement to the education obtained in class rooms and in the Pratt Library.

President Gilman met graduate students individually and gave them friendly encouragement and advice. He was not favorably inclined to the study of philosophy, partly because of his recollection of the philosophy taught him as an undergraduate and partly because it afforded few positions, most institutions having clergymen to teach philosophical subjects. He suggested to Dewey that he change to some other field but was unable to turn the enthusiastically budding philosopher from his path. Dr. Gilman did not lose his friendly interest because his advice was not heeded; when Dewey was called to the president's office after obtaining the doctorate he received not only an excellent personal warning against his seclusive and bookish habits but an offer of a loan to enable him to continue his studies in Europe.

In Dewey's major department Professor George S. Morris of the University of Michigan taught the first half year and Dr. G. Stanley Hall, who had recently returned from prolonged study in Germany, the second half. Contact with these two men, especially with Professor Morris, left a deep impress on the mind of this student. Morris was one of the few teachers of philosophy in the United States who was not a clergyman, he had translated Ueberweg's History of Philosophy into English and had a rich historic background upon which he drew in all his teaching. A man of intense intellectual enthusiasms, he put emotional loyalty as well as intellectual understanding into all


( 17) his teaching. He had reacted strongly against the religious orthodoxy of a puritanic New England upbringing and, for a time, had been intellectually a disciple of Mill, Bain and other British empiricists. In Germany he came under the influence of Trendelenburg and made for himself a synthesis of Hegelian idealism and Aristotelianism somewhat of the type presented in a little book by Wallace. He corresponded with Caird and other Oxford Hegelians of the period.

In Dewey's sketch "From Absolutism to Experimentalism," in the second volume of Contemporary American Philosophy, he gives an account of the appeal the philosophy of Hegel had for him and of the reason for that appeal. The singular and sensitive purity, the whole-souled and single-minded personality of his teacher undoubtedly contributed, but the effect of this appeal is understandable only if the New England background of the pupil is kept in mind. He had nominally accepted the religious teachings in which he was brought up and had joined the White Street Congregational Church in Burlington at an early age. He had tried, without being aware of the effort this required of him, to believe in the doctrines of the church, but his belief was never whole-hearted enough to satisfy his emotional need. From the idealism of Hegel, as interpreted by Morris, he obtained in his late adolescence that fusion of emotions and intellect for which he had sought unsuccessfully in his boyhood religious experience. In the sketch referred to he says that his acquaintance with Hegel "left a permanent deposit in his thinking." The following statement as to the nature of this deposit is his.

"Hegel's idea of cultural institutions as an `objective mind' upon which individuals were dependent in the formation of their mental life fell in with the influence of Comte and of Condorcet and Bacon. The metaphysical idea that an absolute mind is manifested in social institutions dropped out; the idea, upon an empirical basis, of the power exercised by cultural environment in shaping the ideas, beliefs, and intellectual attitudes of individuals remained. It was a factor in producing my belief that the not uncommon assumption in both psychology and philosophy of a ready-made mind over against a physical world


( 18) as an object has no empirical support. It was a factor in producing my belief that the only possible psychology, as distinct from a biological account of behavior, is a social psychology. With respect to more technically philosophical matters, the Hegelian emphasis upon continuity and the function of conflict persisted on empirical grounds after my earlier confidence in dialectic had given way to scepticism. There was a period extending into my earlier years at Chicago when, in connection with a seminar in Hegel's Logic I tried reinterpreting his categories in terms of 'readjustment' and `reconstruction.' Gradually I came to realize that what the principles actually stood for could be better understood and stated when completely emancipated from Hegelian garb."

The influence of Professor Morris was undoubtedly one source of Dewey's later interest in logical theory. Morris was given to contrasting what he called "real" logic, and associated with Aristotle and Hegel, with formal logic Of which he had a low opinion. Dewey, in his years of association with Morris in Ann Arbor, developed the idea that there was an intermediate kind of logic that was neither merely formal nor a logic of inherent "truth" of the constitution of things; a logic of the processes by which knowledge is reached. Mill's logic seemed to him an effort in this direction, but an effort that was disastrously blocked and deflected by Mill's uncritical acceptance of a sensationalistic and particularistic psychology. In some of the earlier volumes of Muirhead's Library of Philosophy there is announced for publication "Principles of Instrumental Logic, by John Dewey, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy in the University of Michigan." That book was never published. Perhaps an echo of the idea is found in Dewey's later "instrumentalism," but at the time the title was submitted it meant a theory of thought viewed as the means or instrumentality of attaining knowledge, as distinguished from the theory of the truths about the structure of the universe of which reason was in possession, or "real" logic. Dewey found that the development of his ideas on the subject led him entirely away from the doctrines associated with "real" logic into a group of problems of experience


( 19) and the relation of knowledge to experience that occupied his time and intellectual energy for many years to come.

Association with Morris was immensely fruitful in the evolution of Dewey in varied ways. When Morris returned to Michigan at the end of the first semester he gave Dewey his under-graduate class in the history of philosophy to teach for the remainder of the year. This gave confidence in the presence of others to the student, who until then had felt it only in writing. The following year Morris was influential in securing for Dewey a fellowship enabling him to continue his studies without increasing his debt. The summer of 1884, following his studies at Hopkins, was almost a repetition of his first summer out of college and the new doctor was beginning to doubt the wisdom of his choice of profession when Professor Morris wrote him offering an instructorship in philosophy at the University of Michigan. The offer was very gladly accepted, at a salary of nine hundred dollars.
President James B. Angell of Michigan University had preceded Buckham at the University of Vermont. At this time he was engaged in the processes by which a great state university was to achieve leadership and creative scholarship. To all who taught under him Angell remains the ideal college president, one who increased the stature of his institution by fostering a truly democratic atmosphere for students and faculty and encouraging the freedom and individual responsibility that are necessary for creative education. His personal charm and geniality created a general atmosphere of friendliness to newcomers and to students. Professors made a point of calling even on young instructors. Instructors attended the weekly faculty meeting, a highly educative process for them. This immediate acceptance as an adult responsible member of the faculty and the fact that the institution was the natural culmination of the coeducational state education system made a deep impression on Dewey, starting the chain of ideas which later comprised his educational theory. His boyhood surroundings, although not marked by genuine industrial and financial democracy, created in him an unconscious but vital faith in democracy which was


( 20) here brought to consciousness to form the foundation of much of his philosophical writing.

During his first winter in Ann Arbor, Dewey lived with another new instructor, Homer Kingsley, in a boarding house in which two "coeds" had rooms. One of these, Alice Chipman, was a few months older than the young philosophy instructor she was to marry two years later, in July 1886. A native of Michigan, she had been teaching school for several years to earn the money to complete her education. Her family background had the same pioneer sources as Dewey's. Her father, a cabinet maker, moved from Vermont to Michigan as a boy. She and her sister were orphaned very young and brought up by their maternal grandparents, Frederick and Evalina Riggs. Mr. Riggs came to the state from upper New York as agent for the Hudson Bay Company. One of the very early settlers, he surveyed the first road through the northern part of the state, managed Indian trading posts, and later took up farming in the wilderness. The two grandchildren, Alice and Esther, grew up in a household where memories of pioneering days were strong and the spirit of adventure was a living force. While a fur trader Grandfather Riggs had been initiated into the Chippewa tribe and he learned their language so that an Indian could not tell by his voice that he was a white man. Indians visited him all his life and he was a champion of their vanishing rights. He was a member of that faction of the democratic party which extended its aversion to war to the war between the states. He was a temperamental dissenter from established conventions; a freethinker who gave money toward the erection of every church in his village of Fenton; an opponent of war who drew heavily on what he had accumulated to buy substitutes for friends and relatives who were drafted. He suffered from asthma and spent some years in the new West seeking a better climate, part of the time in Dodge City, where he served as judge in a Volunteer Court which condemned to death a frontiersman who had shot his victims in the back. Among other ventures, he found in Colorado a gold mine which was too far from any center to be profitable. His rich experience and responsive and original mind more than compensated for the


( 21) scantiness of his schooling. One of his remarks has been quoted more than once by Dewey, "Some day these things will be found out, and not only found out but known." His granddaughters received plenty of loyal affection but not as much material help in realizing their ambitions as the family resources justified, for the grandparents put their extreme individualism into practice in the home and confined their training largely to "do whatever you think right." Of doubtful comfort to the young, this advice certainly fostered intellectual independence and self-reliance in a strong character, such as Alice Chipman's. Her influence on a young man from conservative Burlington was stimulating and exciting. She possessed the qualities her grandparents believed in without the mold of their beliefs and had added to them a lively desire for an education that would enlarge her horizon. She had a brilliant mind which cut through sham and pretense to the essence of a situation; a sensitive nature combined with indomitable courage and energy, and a loyalty to the intellectual integrity of the individual which made her spend herself with unusual generosity for all those with whom she came in contact. Awakened by her grandparents to a critical attitude toward social conditions and injustices, she was undoubtedly largely responsible for the early widening of Dewey's philosophic interests from the commentative and classical to the field of contemporary life. Above all, things which had previously been matters of theory acquired through his contact with her a vital and direct human significance. Whatever skill Dewey acquired in so-called "intuitive" judgment of situations and persons he attributes to her. She had a deeply religious nature but had never accepted any church dogma. Her husband acquired from her the belief that a religious attitude was indigenous in natural experience, and that theology and ecclesiastic institutions had benumbed rather than promoted it.

The years of Dewey's association with Morris in Ann Arbor were those in which his philosophical position was closest to German objective idealism. This was the period of greatest influence of German upon English thought. Important English and Scotch philosophical writings were highly critical of traditional British philosophy. They appealed to German


( 22) and the relation of knowledge to experience that occupied his time and intellectual energy for many years to.come.

Association with Morris was immensely fruitful in the evolution of Dewey in varied ways. When Morris returned to Michigan at the end of the first semester he gave Dewey his undergraduate class in the history of philosophy to teach for the remainder of the year. This gave confidence in the presence of others to the student, who until then had felt it only in writing. The following year Morris was influential in securing for Deweya fellowship enabling him to continue his studies without increasing his debt. The summer of 1884, following his studies at Hopkins, was almost a repetition of his first summer out of college and the new doctor was beginning to doubt the wisdom of his choice of profession when Professor Morris wrote him offering an instructorship in philosophy at the University of Michigan. The offer was very gladly accepted, at a salary of nine hundred dollars.

President James B. Angell of Michigan University had preceded Buckham at the University of Vermont. At this time he was engaged in the processes by which a great state university was to achieve leadership and creative scholarship. To all who taught under him Angell remains the ideal college president, one who increased the stature of his institution by fostering a truly democratic atmosphere for students and faculty and encouraging the freedom and individual responsibility that are necessary for creative education. His personal charm and geniality created a general atmosphere of friendliness to newcomers and to students. Professors made a point of calling even on young instructors. Instructors attended the weekly faculty meeting, a highly educative process for them. This immediate acceptance as an adult responsible member of the faculty and the fact that the institution was the natural culmination of the coeducational state education system made a deep impression on Dewey, starting the chain of ideas which later comprised his educational theory. His boyhood surroundings, although not marked by genuine industrial and financial democracy, created in him an unconscious but vital faith in democracy which was


( 23) thought to offset the disintegrative and dissolvent effect of extreme British individualism on religion and all phases of social life and theory by a philosophy of "organic" relations. Edward Caird's critical exposition of Kant revised in a Hegelian sense Kant's philosophy. Caird's skillful liberation of the function of negation from entanglement in the Hegelian dialectic especially influenced Dewey. He had previously worked through T. H. Green's criticism of Locke and Hume and his Prolegomena to Ethics. Two articles in Mind and parts of his Psychology show Dewey's position at this time. In addition to the work in "instrumental" logic two further influences were gradually undermining the dominant position of German thought in his mind. One was the systematic study of ethics which he undertook when courses in this subject were assigned him to teach. Two small works published locally for the use of his classes show the continuing change in his position which his ethical studies brought about. The first of these, Outlines of a Critical Theory of Ethics, published in 1891, shows his concern with the function of intelligence in concrete direction of human action, individual and social, in distinction from the once-for-all operation of reason in constituting the scheme of things which is set forth by rationalistic idealism. The second book, The Study of Ethics, printed in 1894 when the edition of the first was exhausted, is based upon the idea that intelligence is "mediation" of native impulses with respect to the consequences of their operation, an idea which contains the germ of his later "instrumental" pragmatism and cannot be harmonized with the idealistic view of mind as inherently constitutive.

The other influence, his psychological studies, is already seen in this basic idea of the second syllabus of moral theory. G. Stanley Hall's discursive lectures on psychological topics, experimental and theoretical, had left him with the belief that the relation between psychology and philosophy was an intimate one, but one which must be worked out on the basis of the new experimental psychology. Experiment was overthrowing the older "rational" psychology traditionally associated with philosophy, and probably an ambition to help bring about an


( 24) alliance of the new psychology with philosophy was directing Dewey's intellectual activity to a greater extent than he realized. Certainly the ethical studies had a psychological foundation. William James's Principles of Psychology was much the greatest single influence in changing the direction of Dewey's philosophical thinking. The marked increase in the prominence of the psychological approach in the second ethical syllabus may be attributed to the appearance of this book shortly after the first one was written.

James's influence on Dewey's theory of knowledge was exercised not by the Pragmatism, which appeared after Dewey's theory had been formed, but by chapters in the Principles of Psychology dealing with conception, discrimination and comparison, and reasoning. Dewey has frequently recommended these chapters to students as a better introduction to the essentials of a pragmatic theory of knowledge than the Pragmatism. The nature of James's influence may be learned from Dewey's autobiographical sketch previously referred to. That article states that there are two unreconciled strains in James's Principles, one of them derived from the traditional view of psychology as the theory of "consciousness," the other from the much more objective psychological theory which is founded on biology. It is of the latter that Dewey writes: "It worked its way more and more into all my ideas and acted as a ferment to transform old beliefs." In the period we are discussing the difference between the two strains was not so clear to him as it became later and his language was colored by ideas which he was abandoning. This has led to some misinterpretation of his philosophy, almost inevitable in the case of a theory based on newly established or not quite accepted knowledge, which has led others to give it a more "subjective" meaning than he does himself. In republishing in 1916 the logical essays written in 1901 he says that "the essays in their psychological phases are written from the standpoint of what is now termed a behavioristic psychology," although antedating the use of that expression.

Dewey's teaching at the University of Michigan was interrupted for one year when he accepted a professorship at the University of Minnesota. During that year his revered teacher


( 25) Professor Morris died and Dewey was invited to return to Ann Arbor to take charge of the department. Professor R. M. Wenley, who succeeded Dewey at Michigan, has written a life of Morris which is a valuable document in an important phase of the development of philosophy in the United States. In the last chapter he reprints passages written by Dewey after Morris's death which set forth in more detail than is possible here the nature of Dewey's debt to his teacher and associate. On the personal as well as the professional side of Dewey's life Morris's death was a great loss. The Morrises had opened their house to the young instructor and later to his wife and their kindness and hospitality were the focal point of the Deweys' social life.

The Deweys named their third child, born in Ann Arbor in 1893, Morris. This child was the most intellectually advanced in nature of their six sons and daughters and joined with a kindof inherent maturity an extraordinarily attractive disposition. His death of diphtheria in Milan, Italy, at the age of two and a half, was a blow from which neither of his parents ever fully recovered. One of their fellow travellers on the voyage to England remarked on the last day of the voyage: "If that boy growsup what he is now there will be a new religion in the world." The exaggeration of the remark conveys an idea of the impression little Morris made upon others and the quality of the loss experienced by his family.

Dr. Hough, the second member of the Ann Arbor department while Dewey was in Minneapolis, was called to Minnesota when Dewey returned to Ann Arbor. James Hayden Tufts was called to take Hough's place at Michigan. Tufts is an Amherst graduate who received his doctorate at Berlin and established himself as a scholar through his translation of Windelband's History of Philosophy. Of New England descent, as solid and rugged in character as its mountains, he formed with Dewey, in the short time he was at Ann Arbor, a personal and intellectual friendship which has continued through the years. When the University of Chicago opened, Tufts accepted a position there and this led to Dewey's being called to Chicago in 1894. Their association in Chicago bore fruit in the Ethics, published in 1908 and, in a new edition in 1932, an evidence of their intel


( 25) lectual connection which renders further comment superfluous.

When Tufts left Michigan it was necessary to add two teachers of philosophy to care for the increasing number of students. Arthur H. Lloyd and George H. Mead were chosen. Both had studied at Harvard University, Lloyd having just received his doctorate, while Mead was called from Berlin before he had completed his dissertation. Personal and intellectual association with these two men and their families meant much to the Dewey family. Lloyd had an original mind, gifted in unusual insights which he expressed in a language so individual that he could not be identified with any particular philosophical school. This limited the influence of his writings but possibly intensified his power to stimulate originality and independence in his associates and students. His transparent candor and unswerving fairness, with his intellectual gifts, procured for him a distinguished position in the faculty. At the time of his death he had been for many years Dean of Graduate Students.

Mead and his family were close neighbors of the Deweys in Ann Arbor and after both families moved to Chicago they lived in the same apartment house. The older children of the two families are nearly of an age and close family friendships were quickly established, the Deweys visiting the Castle home in Honolulu from which Mrs. Mead had come. The Meads remained the closest friends of the Deweys, even after the removal of the Deweys to New York, until their deaths.

Since Mead published little during his lifetime, his influence on Dewey was the product of conversations carried on over a ,period of years and its extent has been underestimated. At Mead's funeral exercises in 1931 Dewey said that Mead had a seminal mind of the first order, a view publicly endorsed by Whitehead after he had read some of Mead's posthumously published work. Mead's scholarship, especially in the natural sciences, was much greater than Dewey's. In the years of his association with Dewey, Mead's principal interest was the bearing of biological theories upon scientific psychology. The psychologists and philosophers who, up to that time, had recognized any connection between psychological phenomena and the human body had found the physical basis of mind in the brain alone,


( 26) or at most in the nervous system isolated from the whole organism, and thus from the relations of the organism to its environment. Mead, on the contrary, started from the idea of the organism acting and reacting in an environment; in this view the nervous system, brain included, is an organ for regulating the relations of the organism as a whole with objective conditions of life. Psychological phenomena, including processes of thought and knowledge, must then be described from this point of view. Mead had also developed an original theory of the psychical as the state occurring when previously established relations of organism and environment break down and new relations have not yet been built up; and, through inclusion of relations of human beings with one another, a theory of the origin and nature of selves. Dewey did not attempt a development of these special ideas, but he took them over from Mead and made them a part of his subsequent philosophy, so that, from the nineties on the influence of Mead ranked with that of James. Mead was continuously reworking his ideas so that most of his work was published only after his death. Shortly before his death he gave the Carus lectures before the American Philosophical Association but he was unable to make his notes ready for publication. Former students and colleagues edited his manuscripts and lecture notes taken by students, and four volumes of Mead's work appeared. One of his graduate students said after Mead's death that for many years articles and even books would continue to be published of which the first author was George Mead.

During the last years of his stay in Michigan, John Dewey's parents came to live with him. While his father was hurt at his sons' recreance to the Republican Party, associated in his mind with the preservation of the union, and his mother at their defection from the religious teachings of their boyhood, both were sufficiently liberal in their views and had sufficient confidence in their children to keep the family relation a close one.

Two strong links bound the University of Michigan to the state school system of which it formed a part. The first chair of education in the country was established there, occupied first by Payne and then by Hinsdale; the high schools of the state were visited by members of the university faculty, who reported on


( 27) the preparation for college work of their students. Dewey's interest in general education was stimulated by the visits which he made and he was a member of the Schoolmasters Club of Michigan, designed to bring secondary and college education nearer together by its conferences and committees. His interest in psychology led him to a study of the learning process and in his later years at Ann Arbor he spoke frequently at Teachers' Institutes and Conventions on such topics as "attention," "memory," "imagination," and "thinking," all in relation to teaching and study. He had at this time three small children, Frederick Archibald, born in 1887, Evelyn, born in 1890 in Minneapolis, and Morris. His observation of them gave a practical emphasis to what he had learned from James of the importance of native tendencies and caused him to attach great importance to proper development in the early years. With Professor McLellan of the University of Toronto, who wrote the portion dealing with practical applications, he published two books for teachers in training. His belief in the social function of philosophy, strengthened by an emotional dissatisfaction with pure theorizing, made him feel the need of practical experience to check and develop purely theoretical ideas. He had come to the conviction that existing educational methods, especially in the elementary schools, were not in harmony with the psychological principles of normal development. This inspired a desire for an experimental school which should combine psychological principles of learning with the principle of cooperative association which he derived from his moral studies. At the same time it should release his children from the intellectual boredom of his own school days. Philosophy was to find its social application and test in direct educational experience in the school.

When, in 1894, he received an offer from the University of Chicago, one of the factors leading to its acceptance was the inclusion of Pedagogy in the department with Philosophy and Psychology. After a few years he found a group of parents interested in procuring for their children a different kind of education from any available in Chicago. With their aid, financial as well as moral, an elementary school was started under the auspices of this department, of which he was head. Later named


( 28) "The Laboratory School," it was popularly known as the "Dewey School." The University allowed one thousand dollars in free tuition to teachers in the school, but gave no further financial aid. For the seven and a half years of its existence friends and patrons contributed more to the support of this school than did the University.

The school was not a practice or progressive school as the terms are used today. Its general relation to the department of pedagogy was that which laboratories in the physical sciences bear to instruction in these subjects. Mayhew and Edwards,[2] who were teachers in the school, give a full and authoritative account ' of its work which makes it unnecessary to discuss it here.

The most widely read and influential of Dewey's writings, School and Society, which has been translated into a dozen European and Oriental languages, consists of talks given to raise money for the Laboratory School. Two series of educational monographs, published by the University of Chicago Press and by Houghton Mifflin Company are joint products of the work of the school and of association with a group of educationalists of the state of Illinois. In Contemporary American Philosophy Dewey says that after his movement from idealism to his naturalistic and pragmatic experimentalism personal contacts had, on the whole, more influence in directing his thought than the books he read. Contacts formed through the school are among the most important of the many formed in Chicago. The friendly conflict of different schools of educational thought of these years may be said to mark the beginnings of the "progressive" movement which is remaking the educational system of the United States. Francis W. Parker, later principal of the Cook County Teachers Training School in Chicago, marked by his work in Quincy, Massachusetts, the beginning of a new educational movement in the public schools. He was also active in forming a Child Study Association. DeGarmos and the MacMurrays, after working with Rein in Germany, introduced Herbartian methods into the United States. W. T. Harris was the active promoter of an educational philosophy that drew, with marked originality, upon Hegel.


( 29)

A more intimate personal contact was Dewey's friendship with Ella Flagg Young, during the early years of his stay in Chicago a District Superintendent of City Schools. To her and to his wife he attributes the greatest influence in educational matters of those years. He regards Mrs. Young as the wisest person in school matters with whom he has come in contact in any way. She had begun as a grade teacher, made her way through teaching in high schools to high administrative positions. She was the first woman to be superintendent of the school system of any large American city and the first to be President of the National Educational Association. She habitually and systematically thought out the implications of her actual experience. Her respect for the moral and intellectual personality of the individual, two things she did not separate, developed through her own experience into an insistence upon respect by teachers for the integrity of the mental processes of students and a constant protest against school administration from above which had an enormous influence upon school methods, first in Chicago and then throughout the country. Contact with her supplemented Dewey's educational ideas where his own experience was lacking in matters of practical administration, crystallizing his ideas of democracy in the school and, by extension, in life.

Another influence in Dewey's life deriving from residence in Chicago rather than from his professional position was his interest in Hull House. Hull House was a social settlement in more sense than one. It was a place in which all sorts of people of all beliefs and non-beliefs met on a common footing. The Deweys were regular visitors and formed warm personal friendships with its residents, especially with Jane Addams. They found contact with many types of persons there the most interesting and stimulating part of their non-professional life. One of Miss Addams' main convictions was that the associations formed through Hull House were as important for those from homes more privileged in economic status and cultural opportunities as for the poorer residents of the district around the House. There was no question in her mind of "seeing how the other half lives" but only of joint learning how to live together; learning especially that democracy is a way of life, the truly moral and human way of life, not a political institutional device.


(30) Dewey became a trustee of the settlement when it became necessary to incorporate it, a step which Jane Addams avoided as long as possible because of her fear of institutionalizing its life. Dewey's faith in democracy as a guiding force in education took on both a sharper and a deeper meaning because of Hull House and Jane Addams.

Close association was interrupted when the Deweys left Chicago but there was never a breach in their mutual esteem and affection. At the time of the war Miss Addams remained true to her Quaker antecedents and her Tolstoyan policy of non-resistance (which had stood her in good stead during the early days when Hull House was the object of hostility and she herself of personal insults). Dewey felt that our entrance into the war was the lesser of two evils and this difference was a source of pain on both sides. Their later relations were cordial; Jane Addams was a speaker at the celebration of Dewey's seventieth birthday in New York City in 1929 and Dewey spoke both at a more recent anniversary celebration at Hull House and at a memorial meeting held near New York after death brought to a close the personal career of one of the most remarkable women of her day. Dewey attributes much of the enthusiasm of his support of every cause that enlarged the freedom of activity of women to his knowledge of the character and intelligence of his wife, of Ella Flagg Young, and of Jane Addams.

During the years Dewey was in Chicago he spent his vacations in the Adirondacks. While still in Ann Arbor the family went one summer to the camp and summer school conducted by Thomas Davidson at Glenmore at the foot of Mount Hurricane, virtually a successor to the Concord School of Philosophy. The following summer they built a cabin not far from Davidson's property and here their summers were spent for many years. Their property was separated from Glenmore by a small stream, called Gulf Brook because of the deep channel it had dug for itself, and Davidson remarked that the Deweys had chosen to live "across the gulf," a recognition on his part that they did not agree wholly with his ideas of devoting the summer school to inculcating moral discipline in those who attended it. He was a brilliant, scholarly and highly independent man.


( 31)

One of William James' essays is a striking memorial to him; all who came close to him felt his influence. His winters were went in New York City where he organized clubs of young men who would otherwise have been without intellectual opportunities and, by his teaching, encouragement, and financial aid, started many of them on professional careers.

At Hurricane Dewey was brought into close relations with a number of stimulating minds. W. T. Harris had a cottage there; Bakewell of Yale, Hyslop and Jones of Columbia were regular visitors; Gardiner of Smith came often. Felix Adler was a summer resident of the other end of Keene Valley and occasional visits back and forth occurred; William James visited at Hurricane for a few days almost every summer and Dewey first became personally acquainted there with the man who had so profoundly influenced his thought. James R. Angell, son of President Angell of Michigan and a colleague at Chicago, was at Glenmore regularly.

John Dewey's call to Chicago as head of the department of philosophy, psychology and pedagogy was not only a recognition of his already established place in American philosophy hit made a great change in the type of teaching to which his time was given. At Michigan most of his classes were undergraduate, and the change to graduate work at Chicago not only released him from much of the routine of large classes but gave him the opportunity, particularly important in view of his rapidly developing individual position, of working out his own ideas with students able to make real contributions to their presentation. The greater emphasis on graduate work throughout the institution led to a stimulation of original work in the entire faculty and he found himself surrounded by a faculty of eminent men in a productive atmosphere. The closest and most influential contacts within the University were those continuing from Michigan, with Mead and Tufts; but two other names should be mentioned. Addison Moore was one of the very able graduate students in philosophy and continued in the department on the instructing staff. The most aggressive pragmatist of the group, he was prevented by continued ill health and premature death from full realization of his abilities. Angell was a member of


( 32) the department in psychology. He had been an undergraduate at Michigan and studied under Dewey. After graduation he studied at Harvard under James, Royce and the brilliant band of teachers there. He taught for a while at Minnesota, then came to Chicago. Although psychology was then becoming an experimental laboratory subject and was no longer a dependent branch of philosophy, the two subjects were much more closely connected than they are considered at present, a fact splendidly manifest in the career of Angell's teacher, James. Angell became one of those most active in promoting functional psychology, the chief rival of the analytic school of which Titchener at Cornell was the acknowledged leader. This movement played a part in developing the logical theories of Dewey and in making a bridge from his logical to his moral theory.

For a number of years Dewey gave during the three winter quarters courses entitled, "psychological ethics," "the logic of ethics," and "social ethics." The first of those courses was a further development of the principles set forth in his Study published in Ann Arbor: it developed moral theory in terms of an interplay of impulses, habits, desires, emotions, and ideas. The material of this course provided the background of Human Nature and Conduct, which he published many years later. The course in "the logic of ethics" gave an analysis of the categories of end, standard, principle, and obligation, in terms of distinctive functions of resolution of practical problems arising from a conflict of incompatible desires and purposes. Dewey also conducted regularly a seminar for candidates for the doctorate which had some logical theme as the focus of study. Owing to the prestige of idealistic theories at this time the logical writings of Bradley and Bosanquet, then quite recent, received special attention, with the older logics of Mill, Venn, and Jevons. Lotze's logic was chosen for analysis in one seminar because the importance attached by its author to empirical and scientific theories made it one of the least extreme in exposition of idealistic logical theories. The Decennial of the founding of the University was celebrated by the publication by the University of Chicago Press of a series of monographs representing all departments. Among the publications was a volume by graduate


( 33) students in philosophy called Studies in Logical Theory, with a series of introductory essays giving an analysis of Lotze's logical theory by Dewey. The volume would probably have attracted little attention even among university teachers of philosophy had it not received a cordial greeting from William James, whose review hailed the birth of a "Chicago School" of thought, working along lines sympathetic to his pragmatism. This secured for it a certain recognition, for the most part hostile. Dewey's contribution marks a final and complete break with his early Hegelian idealism and launches his instrumental theory of reflective thought.

Another of these publications was a monograph by Dewey, The Scientific Conditions of a Theory of Morality, which gives in schematic outline his first published endeavor to set forth the principles of a unified logic of scientific enquiry and moral judgment. This attracted no attention and has never been republished; but in a study of his development it marks a crucial change of position.

How We Think and Democracy and Education, written after Dewey was at Columbia University, are direct fruits of his Chicago experience. His own work and his contacts with others led to a fusion in them of his educational and philosophical ideas; he expresses, in Democracy and Education, the opinion that philosophy itself is "the general theory of education," taking education in a sense broad enough to include all the factors that serve to shape the disposition, emotional, intellectual, and active, of the individuals who constitute society.

During the last years of Dewey's stay in Chicago there was increasing friction between him and the president of the University on matters connected with the administration of the Laboratory School. The Chicago Institute, a training school for teachers which had a practice school for children, had been founded to continue the work of Francis Parker free from the political influences which hindered it in the Cook County institution. In 1901 this Institute was joined with the University. As the department of which Dewey was head did not undertake the training of teachers for other than university and normal school positions in the philosophy and psychology of


( 34) education there was no conflict on this side. But, while Dewey was away for a short time lecturing, the president agreed to merge the Laboratory School with the school connected with the former Institute, now the University's school of education. This merger made no provision either for maintaining the type of work done in the Laboratory School nor for the corps of teachers who had given devoted service against obstacles due to the scarcity of funds. When the trustees of the Institute learned that Dewey had not been consulted when the contract joining the Institute to the University was drawn and was unaware that his school had been virtually abandoned, they volunteered adjustments. The parents and friends who had given the school its financial support were organized into what was probably the first active Parents and Teachers Association in the country. They protested the abandonment of the school vigorously and raised a fund to guarantee its continuance. Educators all over the country wrote the University administration urging its support. Francis Parker was at this time seriously ill and his illness was the leading reason for the transfer of the Institute to the University. A temporary solution of the difficulties was worked out and while it was in force Colonel. Parker's death led to the merger of the two schools under a school of education directed by Dewey. The attitude of the president remained so indifferent or hostile to the unendowed school, however, that Dewey resigned in 1904. His resignation was followed by that of Ella Flagg Young as professor of education.

At the time of his resignation Dewey had no position in view. After he had taken the decisive step he wrote to William James and to his old friend J. McKeen Cattell of the Department of Philosophy and Psychology at Columbia University, informing them of it. Through the efforts of Cattell he was offered a position at Columbia University, including, as means of increasing the salary offered, two hours a week of work at Teachers College.

The Deweys decided to spend the interval in Europe. Three children had been born to them in Chicago, Gordon Chipman (named after his mother's father), Lucy Alice, and Jane Mary (named after Jane Addams and her close friend, Mary Smith).


( 35)  They took their five children with them, but tragedy again accompanied their European trip. Gordon contracted typhoid fever on the ship in which they sailed from Montreal to Liverpool. After a serious illness in a Liverpool hospital he appeared to have recovered; but on a trip to Ireland he had a relapse and died. Gordon, only eight, had made many friends. He was a mature personality, without precocity, at the age of six. A memorial meeting was held at Hull House when news of his death was received. Miss Addams made the leading address, which was published much later in a volume of similar addresses; this evidence of the affection and warm appreciation Gordon aroused outside his immediate family testifies to the loss which they experienced. The blow to Mrs. Dewey was so serious that she never fully recovered her former energy. Nevertheless, with characteristic courage, she took the other children to the continent to learn foreign languages. Dewey, who had gone to Columbia to teach in the fall, rejoined his family in June at Venice. A happy outcome of the Italian stay was the adoption of Sabino, an Italian boy of about the same age as the one recently lost. His unflagging gayety, courage through a severe illness, energy, and capacity for making friends brought comfort to the bereaved family of which he remains a beloved member. It is interesting that the adopted child is the one who has carried on the parents' practical work in elementary education, as a teacher in progressive schools and as designer and manufacturer of educational equipment for constructive activities and scientific experimentation. The oldest daughter, Evelyn, after visiting a number of schools, wrote Schools of Tomorrow with her father, and New Schools for Old, a book dealing with rural education. She was connected for some time with the Bureau of Educational Experiments, engaged in working out methods of educational testing and statistical formulation of the results. Later she edited a complete report of investigations of infant development.
Dewey found himself at Columbia in a new philosophical atmosphere. By 1905 the realistic movement was in the forefront of philosophy. It was ably represented at Columbia by Woodbridge, a thorough classical and Aristotelian scholar, and an original and stimulating teacher of the history of philosophy.


( 36)

Woodbridge accepted and taught naturalistic metaphysics of the Aristotelian type. Contact with him made Dewey aware of the possibility and value of a type of metaphysical theory which did not profess to rest upon principles not empirically verifiable. The result of new contacts is seen especially in Experience and Nature, the first series of lectures given before the American Philosophical Association on the Carus Foundation. Woodbridge and Dewey agreed in acceptance of pluralism, in opposition to absolutism and to a theory of knowing which made subject and object its end-terms; they had a common disbelief in theories of immediate knowledge. These points were so joined with points of difference as to make their intellectual association of peculiar importance in further developing Dewey's thought. The period, up to about 1915, was one of warm critical controversy of monistic and dualistic realists with one another (Woodbridge holding a different position without taking an active public part in the controversy) and of all realists with idealists. James repeated his lectures on Pragmatism at Columbia by invitation of the Department of Philosophy and during the following years developed his "radical empiricism." The new intellectual conditions in which Dewey found himself, including the teaching of graduate students to whom his point of view was quite foreign, led to a rethinking of all his philosophic ideas. The result is seen in Reconstruction in Philosophy, lectures delivered at the Imperial University in Tokyo, in Experience and Nature, and in The Quest for Certainty, lectures given at Edinburgh in 1929 on the Gifford Foundation. Almost all of Dewey's books published after he came to New York developed from lectures given on various foundations. This is true of Human Nature and Conduct, The Public and Its Problems, German Philosophy and Politics, Liberalism and Social Action, Art as Experience, as well as those named above. In addition to books, voluminous contributions to philosophical periodicals, especially The Journal of Philosophy, edited and published at Columbia, record his philosophical positions of recent years.

His personal contacts were numerous. Montague, a Columbia colleague, developed a theory of monistic realism on the basis of his knowledge of and deep interest in modern physical theories. The resulting theory of perception and knowledge is based


( 37) upon an original and highly ingenious hylozoistic theory of nature. Montague and Dewey came closer together in their ideas on social subjects than upon technical philosophical ones. Friendship between the two families has always been close and Montague was the chief speaker at the funeral exercises of Mrs. Dewey, who died, after long illness, in 1927, of arteriosclerosis and heart trouble.
Other associates who influenced Dewey for shorter or longer periods, both positively and by criticisms of his positions, were Lovejoy, Tawney, Sheldon, Harold Chapman Brown, and, as students became members of the faculties of Columbia and neighboring institutions, Bush, Schneider, Randall, Edman, Kilpatrick, Goodsell, Childs, Eastman, Hook, Ratner and others. Association with Hook and Ratner remained close after they left Columbia, as both remained in New York; each has been connected with Dewey's recently published work. Ratner collected and edited a volume of Dewey's articles on topics of the day and published a volume of selections from his philosophical writings, Intelligence in the Modern World, prefaced by an interpretative introduction. Hook has worked through the manuscripts of all of Dewey's recent volumes before their publication and helped their rewriting by many suggestions.
Around 1915, Dr. Albert C. Barnes of Merion, Pennsylvania, was led to join a seminar of Dewey's by the similarity of the ideas he had worked out personally to those expressed in Democracy and Education. A close friendship resulted from their acquaintance in this seminar. Barnes, best known for his unrivalled collection of modern paintings, is a scientist and student. He wished his collection to be used for educational ends which only art could serve and had interested himself in methods of art education. His personal experience had developed a method of discriminating observation by which a deeper appreciation of works of art and of experience in general was effected. Contact with The Barnes Foundation gave definite philosophic form to Dewey's previously rather scattered ideas of the arts. Barnes dedicates Art in Painting to Dewey and Dewey dedicates Art as Experience to Barnes; the two books are evidence of their intellectual collaboration.
There exists in New York City a Philosophic Club of twelve


( 38) to eighteen members from institutions in New York and as far from it as Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, which has met monthly for many years. It would be difficult to bring together a greater variety of philosophical points of view, expressed in frank mutual criticism, than are and have been found in this club. In it Dewey found stimulating contact with such men as McGiffert, Thomas Hall, Adams Brown, and Lyman, of Union Theological Seminary; Felix Adler of the Ethical Culture Society; Henry Rutgers Marshall, the architect and writer on Šsthetics and psychology; Bakewell, Sheldon, Fite, Singer, Cohen, deLaguna, and, for brief periods, Fullerton and Kemp-Smith, in addition to many previously mentioned. Its discussions kept him constantly aware of the wide variety of views held by men of equal sincerity and intellectual capacity.

Dewey's ventures in the political field bring his social philosophy to the fore in this period. He began giving courses in political philosophy while teaching at Ann Arbor. In these lectures he discussed, largely from the historical point of view, theories of "natural right," utilitarianism, the British school of jurisprudence, and the idealistic school. The most noteworthy feature of the course was that in the department of philosophy the topics of sovereignty, the nature of legal and political rights and duties, and the history of political thought, in terms of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, were discussed. A criticism of Austin's theory of sovereignty, published in the Political Science Quarterly, and a lecture on "The Ethics of Democracy," published by the Philosophical Union of the University, show Dewey's social thought at this period. The latter combines a criticism of the quantitative individualistic theory of political democracy with a definitely moral interpretation in terms of "liberty, equality, fraternity." The most significant statement in the address from a present-day point of view is that political democracy is impossible without economic and industrial democracy, but this statement should not be taken to have its present meaning. Its immediate source was probably Henry Carter Adams, a colleague in political economy, who frequently pointed out the desirability and probability of a development in economic life parallel to that which had taken place in politics, from absolutism and oligarchy to popular representation.


( 39)

For a time Dewey's political philosophy developed as a line of thought independent of his technical philosophical interests. It was inevitable that these currents should gradually fuse in the mind of a man who believed that the influence of the social scene on philosophy should be not merely the unavoidable unconscious one but that of furnishing a testing ground for the correctness of philosophic theory. This fusion was aided by courses given at Chicago and at Columbia on social and political philosophy. In his earlier years Dewey shared the faith then rather common that American democracy in its normal evolution would in time do away with the serious injustices of the economic field. He was thus able to support Bryan for president, in spite of disagreement on the silver question and many other points of the populist movement; partly on anti-imperialist grounds, but largely because he saw in the movement signs of a democratic revival.

Residence in New York City completed the change already begun in Chicago in his social convictions. The frontier atmosphere of Chicago tended to keep alive the na´ve middle-western faith in the manifest destiny of democracy, in spite of the rawness of much of the city's life. In New York, the center of the financial interests of the country, it was impossible to ignore the acute conflict existing between political and social democracy and irresponsible finance capitalism. In 1912 Dewey —actively supported the "Bull Moose" campaign, in spite of his distrust of Theodore Roosevelt's military and imperialistic tendencies. He joined also in the La Follette campaign of 1924. His long and active support of the woman suffrage cause was based on the belief that the enfranchisement of women was a necessary part of political democracy. He was the first president of The Peoples Lobby, conducted at Washington by its energetic secretary, Ben C. Marsh, and was chairman for a number of years of The League for Independent Political Action.

He interested himself. in a number of ways in the democratic administration of schools and universities. He was a charter member of the first Teachers Union in New York City, withdrawing with regret when that union was used for promoting a particular political opinion rather than for educational purposes. The motto of the teachers' unions, "Education for Democracy


( 40) and Democracy in Education," is obviously taken from his works. With his friends Cattell and Lovejoy he was active in founding the American Association of University Professors and he served as its first president.

Dewey's trips abroad played a decided part in the evolution of his social and political views. The most influential was to japan and China. He had become acquainted with Dr. Yegiro Ono when the latter was a student of political economy in Ann Arbor. Dr. Ono attained a distinguished position in banking in japan and was in New York on business after Dewey moved there. Their friendship was renewed and Dr. Ono, with a professor at the Tokyo Imperial University, arranged that Dewey should be invited to lecture at that university during sabbatical leave in 1918-19. The first half of that winter Dewey lectured at the University of California and from there he went to Japan. In Tokyo Mr. and Mrs. Dewey visited the I. Nitobes, who hospitably opened their charming home to them for the period of the lectures. Mrs. Nitobe was an American of Quaker descent and the months at the Nitobe home, with the university connection, brought the Deweys into close contact with the liberal culture of Japan, including its comparatively small feminist movement. The liberal movement in that country probably reached its height at about this time, due to the success of the Allies in the war. It was even possible for Dewey to be invited to lecture on democracy. The close affiliation of Japanese thought and action with German and the tendency of the ablest men to go into the army were, however, apparent even then.

While in Japan, Dewey was visited by former students from China, including Chancellor Chiang Mon-Lin of the National University of Peking, who invited him to lecture in China for a year under the auspices of a newly formed Chinese Society. Dewey obtained leave of absence from Columbia and sailed for China on a visit which was to lengthen to two years.

What was later to be a well organized student movement was beginning to take form in 1919. In fact, the Chancellor, who had accompanied the Deweys to Hangchow after they landed at Shanghai, returned suddenly to Peking because university students had been arrested for vigorous demonstrations


( 41) against the Cabinet, which they considered pro-Japanese. From the start of their visit the Deweys saw the power of the student and teaching class in China and the potentialities of public opinion acting in non-political channels. For the student strike aroused so much public sympathy that when the government offered to release the students they refused to leave until they received a formal apology from the Cabinet. The fact that the leadership of the movement to modernize China, by ridding it of Japanese control and turning the nominal republic into genuinely democratic channels, lay in educational circles gave the Deweys an extraordinary opportunity to know at first hand the forces at work. Dewey was especially fortunate in his interpreters, advisors and guides. Chief among them was Dr. Hu Shih, now Ambassador from China to the United States. Hu Shih had taken a doctorate at Columbia and returned to China to take a leading part in the "literary revolution," a movement to substitute the spoken language for classic Chinese, which was understood only by professional scholars. The movement spread with a rapidity which surprised its initiators and served alike to form a wider educational basis, as textbooks were written in a language with which pupils were familiar, and to disseminate modern ideas among the literate public.

Besides lecturing in the National Universities at Peking and at Nanking (where Dr. W. T. Tau, also a former Columbia student, was dean) the Deweys visited almost every capital of the Pacific coast provinces from Mukden to Canton and a number of capitals of interior provinces. His lectures were attended not only by students and teachers but by other representatives of the educated classes and were reported fully in the local newspapers. In many cases they were recorded by a stenographer and published in pamphlets which had a wide circulation. Mrs. Dewey also lectured and she was made an honorary Dean of Women at Nanking. Coeducation was just beginning in China and the Deweys were at Nanking for the summer session at which women were, for the first time, admitted to classes on the same footing with men. Mrs. Dewey's encouragement of the feminist movement in Chinese education was commemorated recently when, with traditional ceremonies, a delegation of Chi-


( 42) -nese students presented a scroll honoring her services to her family in New York. This recognition, a cherished memory of the family, recalls the warmth with which the Chinese received the Deweys at a time when democratic and national ideals were spreading rapidly in their country. The Deweys were the first foreign lecturers under specifically Chinese auspices and were accepted into such close association with Chinese as to become familiar with their point of view on internal and international problems.

Whatever the influence of Dewey upon China, his stay there had a deep and enduring influence upon him. He left feeling affection and admiration not only for the scholars with whom he had been intimately associated but for the Chinese people as a whole. China remains the country nearest his heart after his own. The change from the United States to an environment of the oldest culture in the world struggling to adjust itself to new conditions was so great as to act as a rebirth of intellectual enthusiasms. It provided a living proof of the value of social education as a means of progress. His visits to Turkey in 1924 and to Mexico in 1926 confirmed his belief in the power and necessity of education to secure revolutionary changes to the benefit of the individual, so that they cannot become mere alterations in the external form of a nation's culture.

In Russia his chief contacts were with educationalists; his time there was too short for investigation of economic and political fields. His experience in other countries had taught him to be distrustful of the ability and desire of officials and politicians to give an honest statement of conditions. His membership in a visiting group of American educators brought him into relations with remarkable Russian men and women, teachers and students, who were ardently convinced of the necessary place of education with a social aim and co÷perative methods in making secure the purposes of the revolution. They were enthusiastically engaged in building a new and better world. Their interest in the economic and political aspects of the revolution came from their belief that these would serve to liberate the powers of all individuals. The impression he derived from these associations was so unlike the beliefs current in the United States


( 43) that he wrote a series of articles very sympathetic in tone with the U. S. S. R., which led to his being described as a "Bolshevik"and a "red" in the conservative press.

His Russian trip took place in 1928, when the earlier "freedom" of pupils to dictate to teachers and educational authorities had been curbed and before the later scholastic regimentation was established. Although there was much political propaganda in the schools, there was also in the better ones a genuine promotion of personal judgment and voluntary co÷peration. The reports which came to him after the high-pressure five year plan was put into effect of the increasing regimentation of the schools and of their use as tools for limited ends were a great disappointment to Dewey. After the Moscow trials of the old Bolsheviks he concluded that the clash of what appeared to be creeds of political sects, which he had believed to be similar to those of sects in the formation of Christian dogma, had a deeper meaning; events in Russia were interpretable as the effects of any dogmatic social theory, in contrast to democratic liberalism.

His visit to Russia was short but it had a sequel which greatly extended his knowledge of affairs in the Soviet Union. He was invited to be a member of the Commission of Inquiry into the Charges Against Leon Trotsky at the Moscow Trial. While he believed in the right of every accused person to a hearing, this belief did not of itself lead him to accept. Upon the personal side he felt that it was an opportunity to carry on his own practical education in the principles of social action, in this case as illustrated in the theory of violent class conflict and class dictatorship. The immediate result for him was the study not only of all the official reports on the Moscow trials but of the translated writings of Lenin and other revolutionary leaders. This convinced him that the method of violent revolution and dictatorship was by its very nature ineffective in producing the ends sought, no matter which particular set of leaders, illustrated in this case by Trotskyites and Stalinists, came into power. In his own phrase, "to be asked to choose between Bolshevism and Fascism is to be asked to choose between the G. P. U. and the Gestapo." The public result of the inquiry was the publication of two volumes, one a verbatim report of the hearings held at


( 44) Trotsky's home in Mexico City, the other an analysis of the evidence on both sides and a statement of The Commission's findings which was published under the title Not Guilty. In left wing literary circles he was now denounced indifferently as a Trotskyite or as a reactionary and a section of the conservative press welcomed him into a fold in which he has never belonged. All of his political activities are explainable by a belief in what was called "Americanism" before that term was associated by war propaganda with "jingoism" and by economic reactionaries with a laissez faire financial and industrial policy. This belief is now more commonly known as "liberalism" but, in explaining Dewey's activities, this word must be taken in its old-fashioned American sense.

Of the interaction of public activities and technical philosophy he states: "I have usually, if not always, held an idea first in its abstract form, often as a matter chiefly of logical or dialectic consistency or of the power of words to suggest ideas. Some personal experience, through contact with individuals, groups, or (as in visits to foreign countries) peoples, was necessary to give the idea concrete significance. There are no ideas which are original in substance, but a common substance is given a new expression when it operates through the medium of individual temperament and the peculiar, unique, incidents of an individual life. When, to take an example, I formed the idea that the 'mind' of an individual, the set of beliefs expressed in his behavior, is due to interaction of social conditions with his native constitution, my share in the life of family and other groups gave the idea concrete personal significance. Again the idea that lay back of my educational undertaking was a rather abstract one of the relation of knowledge and action. My school work translated this into a much more vital form. I reached fairly early in the growth of my ideas a belief in the intimate and indissoluble connection of means used and ends reached. I doubt if the force of the idea in the theory of social action would have come home to me without my experience in social and political movements, culminating in events associated with my membership in the Trotsky Inquiry Commission. My theories of mind-body, of the co÷rdination of the active elements of the self and of the


( 45) place of ideas in inhibition and control of overt action required contact with the work of F. M. Alexander and in later years his brother, A. R., to transform them into realities. My ideas tend, because of my temperament, to take a schematic form in which logical consistency is a dominant consideration, but I have been fortunate in a variety of contacts that has put substance into these forms. The fruits of responsiveness in these matters have confirmed ideas first aroused on more technical grounds of philosophical study. My belief in the office of intelligence as a continuously reconstructive agency is at least a faithful report of my own life and experience."

Notes

  1. This biography was written by the daughters of its subject from material which he furnished. In the emphasis on varied influences and in the philosophical portions it may be regarded as an autobiography, but its subject is not responsible for the form nor for all the details.
  2. K. C. Mayhew and A. C. Edwards, The Dewey School, D. Appleton-Century Co. (1936).

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