The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy: And Other Essays in Contemporary Thought

By John Dewey | Go to book overview
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"CONSCIOUSNESS" AND EXPERIENCE1

EVERY science in its final standpoint and working aims is controlled by conditions lying outside itself--conditions that subsist in the practical life of the time. With no science is this as obviously true as with psychology. Taken without nicety of analysis, no one would deny that psychology is specially occupied with the individual; that it wishes to find out those things that proceed peculiarly from the individual, and the mode of their connection with him. Now, the way in which the individual is conceived, the value that is attributed to him, the things in his make-up that arouse interest, are not due at the outset to psychology. The scientific view regards these matters in a reflected, a borrowed, medium. They are revealed in the light of social life. An autocratic, an aristocratic, a democratic society propound such different estimates of the worth and place of individuality; they procure for the individual as an individual such different sorts of experience;

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1
Delivered as a public address before the Philosophic Union of the University of California, with the title "Psychology and Philosophic Method", May, 1899, and published in the University Chronicle for August, 1899. Reprinted, with slight verbal changes, mostly excisions.

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