Moral andEpistemological Implications ofJohn Dewey


Ihejirika, Cardinal

Humanity embarks on epistemological quests in order to achieve knowledge that could in turn minister to human needs. Knowledge by this token becomes a tool for problem-solving. The humanspecie therefore theorizesin order to explain myriad difficult existential challenges and to gain firm control of their environment. John Dewey in the 20th century advanceshis instrumentalism postulate, which proposes a reconstruction in philosophy. Heproposes a pragmatic reconstruction of truth in terms of its practicalfunction such that knowledge, morality and even education could be instrumentalized. Dewey adopts the scientific methodology of experimentalism in order to fully achieve his instrumentalism. Regrettably, he overemphasizes the method of science as all sufficing and this renders society’s set goals indeterminate and breeds solipsism. When knowledge and morality get instrumentalized, morality becomes relativized leaving no possibility of a reference to any fixed moral code. This research therefore aims to expose the moral and epistemological implications of Dewey’s instrumentalism. The author adoptsthe textual analysis method of enquiry and suggestsa humanization of instrumentalism, which protects human dignity and personhood as well as promotes the safe appropriation of the positive benefits of the scientificadventure.


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