Associate Professor and Chair
Environmental Studies and Philosophy
Green Mountain College
One College Circle
Poultney, Vermont 05764
»Habits of speech, including syntax and vocabulary, and modes of interpretation have been formed in the face of inclusive and defining situations of context ... We are not explicitly aware of the role of context just because our every utterance is so saturated with it that it forms the significance of what we say and hear ... Now thought lives, moves, and has its being in and through symbols, and, therefore, depends for meaning upon context as do the symbols ... I should venture to assert that the most pervasive fallacy of philosophic thinking goes back to neglect of context.« (LW 6: 4-5)
»I have used the word construction" to denote "the creative mind, the mind that is genuinely productive in its operations. We are given to associating creative mind with persons regarded as rare and unique, like geniuses. But every individual is in his own way unique. Each one experiences life from a different angle than anybody else, and consequently has something distinctive to give others if he can turn his experiences into ideas and pass them on to others.« (LW 5: 127)
»There is no one among us who is not called upon to face honestly and courageously the equipment of beliefs, religious, political, artistic, economic, that has come to him in all sorts of indirect and uncriticized ways, and to inquire how much of it is validated and verified in present need, opportunity, and application.« (LW 5: 142)
»Creative activity is our great need; but criticism, self-criticism, is the road to its release.« (LW 5: 143)
»We cannot permanently divest ourselves of the intellectual habits we take on and wear when we assimilate the culture of our own time and place. But intelligent furthering of culture demands that we take some of them off, that we inspect them critically to see what they are made of and what wearing them does to us« (LW 1: 40)
Truth and Warranted Assertions (Experimentalism)
»... the term ‘warranted assertion' s preferred to the terms belief and knowledge. It is free from the ambiguity of these latter terms, and it involves reference to inquiry as that which warrants assertion« (LW 12: 17)
Experience and the Real
»... the question ... is what the real is. If natural existence is qualitatively individualized or genuinely plural, as well as repetitious, and if things have both temporal quality and recurrence or uniformity, then the more realistic knowledge is, the more fully it will reflect and exemplify these traits« (LW 1: 127)
Experience and Language
»If existence in its immediacies could speak it would proclaim: ‘I may have relatives but I am not related.' In aesthetic objects, that is in all immediately enjoyed and suffered things, in things directly possessed, they thus speak for themselves.« (LW 1: 75f)
Communication and Participation
»Of all affairs, communication is the most wonderful. That things should be able to pass from the plane of external pushing and pulling to that of revealing themselves to man, and thereby to themselves; and that the fruit of communication should be participation, sharing, is a wonder by the side of which transubstantiation pales.« (LW 1: 132)
»Communication is the process of creating participation, of making common what had been isolated and singular; and part of the miracle it achieves is that, in being communicated, the conveyance of meaning gives body and definiteness to the experience of the one who utters as well as to that of those who listen« (LW 10: 248f).
Democracy (Liberalism and Socialism)
»The end of democracy is a radical end. For it is an end that has not been adequately realized in any country at any time. It is radical because it requires great change in existing social institutions, economic, legal and cultural.« (LW 11: 298f)
Democracy (Experience and Education)
»Democracy is the faith that the process of experience is more important than any special result attained, so that special results achieved are of ultimate value only as they are used to enrich and order the ongoing process. Since the process of experience is capable of being educative, faith in democracy is all one with faith in experience and education.« (LW 14: 229)
Democracy (Culture and the Power of Imagination)
“Imagination is the chief instrument of the good” (LW 10: 350), because only “imaginative vision elicits the possibilities that are interwoven within the texture of the actual.” (LW 10: 348)
Democracy (Intelligence and Local Communities)
»In a word, that expansion and reinforcement of personal understanding and judgment by the cumulative and transmitted intellectual wealth of the community which may render nugatory the indictment of democracy drawn on the basis of the ignorance, bias and levity of the masses, can be fulfilled only in the relations of personal intercourse in the local community ... Vision is a spectator; hearing is a participator ... We lie, as Emerson said, in the lap of an immense intelligence. But that intelligence is dormant and its communications are broken, inarticulate and faint until it possesses the local community as its medium.« (LW 2: 371f)
Education as Growth
»Since growth is the characteristic of life, education is all one with growing; it has no end beyond itself. The criterion of the value of school education is the extent in which it creates a desire for continued growth and supplies means for making the desire effective in fact.« (MW 9: 58)
Special question to the scholar
What are your leading perspectives and current projects in Deweyan pragmatism?
Green Mountain College, Associate Professor of Philosophy, 2004-present
Kyoto University, Fulbright Lecturer-Researcher, Graduate School of Human and Environmental
Studies, March 2009-August 2009
Green Mountain College, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, 2002-2004
Siena College, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy, 2000-2002
Dartmouth College, Visiting Scholar in Philosophy, 1999-2000
East Tennessee State University, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, 1995-1999
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION
Classical American Philosophy (especially the pragmatism of William James and John Dewey);
Ethics (theoretical and applied, including Environmental Ethics); Social and Political Philosophy;
Theory of Metaphor; Environmental Philosophy
SELECTED AREAS OF TEACHING COMPETENCE
Philosophy of Education; Philosophies of Nature; 16th-18th Century European Philosophy; Ancient Greek Philosophy; Aesthetics; Logic; Philosophy of Science; Business Ethics; Philosophy and
Literature; East-West Comparative Philosophy
Postgraduate: Summer Institute in American Philosophy: July 1998-July 2002, July 2004
Ph.D., 1994, Philosophy, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
M.A., 1992, Philosophy, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
B.A., 1990, Philosophy, Millsaps College, summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa
John Dewey and Moral Imagination: Pragmatism in Ethics (Indiana University Press, 2003)
(forthcoming in Chinese translation with Peking University Press, American Philosophy Series,
Roger Ames and Larry Hickman, co-editors)
"Cultivating Ecological Imagination: John Dewey and Contemporary Moral Education,"
Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 9, no. 2 (2005).
"Ecological Humanism: A Moral Image for Our Emotive Culture," The Humanist 61, no. 1
"Philosophy Disrobed: Lakoff and Johnson's Call for Empirically Responsible Philosophy," in The
Journal of Speculative Philosophy 14, no. 4 (2000/2001).
"Morality As Art: Dewey, Metaphor, and Moral Imagination," Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 35, no. 3 (1999).
"A `Primer' in Conceptual Metaphor for Counselors," co-authored, Journal of Counseling and
Development 77, no. 4 (1999).
"Rediscovering the Moral Life." Review Article of James Gouinlock, Rediscovering the Moral Life,
in The Journal of Value Inquiry 32 (March 1998)
"Remaking the Modern Mind: William James's Reconstruction of Rationality,"Southwest
Philosophy Review 14, no. 2 (1998).
"Dramatic Rehearsal and The Moral Artist: A Deweyan Theory of Moral Understanding," Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 31, no. 3 (1995).
"Educating the Moral Artist: Dramatic Rehearsal in Moral Education," Studies in Philosophy and Education 13, nos. 3-4 (1994/95).
"What Is `Cognitive' About Cognitive Linguistics?" Metaphor and Symbolic Activity 9, no. 2 (1994).
"Aerating the Mind: The Metaphor of Mental Functioning As Bodily Functioning," Metaphor and Symbolic Activity 9, no. 1 (1994).
"Embodied Reason," Kinesis 20, no. 1 (1993).
"Our Place in the Cosmos: Faith and Belief in Contact," co-authored with Heather Keith, in
Movies and the Meaning of Life (Open Court Press, April 2005).
"Dewey and Animal Ethics," in Animal Pragmatism: Rethinking Human Nonhuman Relationships,
edited Erin McKenna and Andrew Light (Indiana University Press, 2004).
"Ecological Humanism: A Moral Image for Our Emotive Culture," in Moral Soundings: The Crisis
of Values in Contemporary Life, edited by Dwight Furrow (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004);
reprinted in revised form from The Humanist (2001).
"The Art of Moral Imagination," in Dewey Reconfigured: Essays on Deweyan Pragmatism, edited
by Casey Haskins and David Seiple (SUNY Press, 1999).
"The Social Basis of Character: An Ecological Humanist Approach," in Ethics in Practice, edited
by Hugh Lafollette (Blackwell Press, 1997).
"Educating the Moral Artist: Dramatic Rehearsal in Moral Education," in Education and The New
Scholarship on Dewey, edited by Jim Garrison (Kluwer Press, 1995); reprinted from Studies in
Philosophy and Education (1994/95).
"Ecological Imagination in Dewey's Ethics," in a special edition of The Chinese Journal, ed.
Tangjia Wang, trans. Xu Peng, forthcoming.
Encyclopedia Articles, Book Reviews, and Dictionary Entries
"Valuation" and "Dramatism," in The Encyclopedia of American Philosophy, John Lachs and
Robert Talisse, eds. (Routledge, 2007).
"Joseph Alexander Leighton," co-authored with Heather Keith, in The Biographical Encyclopedia
of British Idealism, William Sweet, ed. (Thoemmes/Continuum Press, 2007).
Five articles, co-authored with Heather Keith, Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers,
Richard T. Hull, ed. (Thoemmes Press, 2005).
Review of Eugene Taylor and Robert Wozniak, eds., Pure Experience: The Response to William
James, in Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 34, no. 1 (1998).
Review Article of Giovanna Borradori, The American Philosopher, in Society for the Advancement
of American Philosophy Newsletter, Summer 1994.
Review of Giovanna Borradori, The American Philosopher, in Kinesis 20, no. 2 (1994).