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Camden Philosophical Society: John Dewey – In Person & On Zoom

Tuesday, April 16 @ 3:30 pm 5:00 pm

Famed early 20th Century philosopher John Dewey will provide grist for the discussion mill at the April 16 gathering of the Camden Philosophical Society. Like other ancient-to-contemporary thinkers whose ideas the society has discussed in recent months, Dewey saw philosophy as a way of living and interacting with the world, not merely as an academic pursuit. The hybrid gathering will be at 3:30 pm on Tuesday, April 16. All are welcome to participate, in-person at the Picker Room of the Camden Public Library or by Zoom.

If you wish to participate via Zoom, please email sarahmiller@usa.net. You will receive a Zoom invitation on the morning of the meeting. Click on the “Join Zoom Meeting” link in that invitation at the time of the event.

Dewey spent the first half of the last century as the United States’ pre-eminent public philosopher, writing on educational theory, aesthetics, human nature, politics and culture, and other topics. Born in Vermont in 1859, he died in New York City in 1952 — so his life spanned horse-drawn carriages to jet airplanes, muskets to hydrogen bombs. His obituary was on the front page of the New York Times.

Known as a pragmatist, Dewey took human lived experience (described as meaningful transactions with the world) as the basis of his philosophy. In political philosophy, he was a strong advocate for democracy, including reforming our educational system to solicit individual traits for working in community.

Greg Fahy has proposed readings from Dewey’s 1927 book The Public and Its Problems: An Essay in Political Enquiry. Specifically, Greg suggests participants read Chapter 4, “The Eclipse of the Public”; and Chapter 5, “The Search fo Camden Philosophical Society reading and discussion group for April 16zzzzr the Great Community” ahead of the discussion.  These two chapters, published nearly 100 years ago, cover the challenges of realizing a democratic community in the United States.  

The book can be accessed online for free here via Project Gutenberg: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/71000
Or here via The Internet Archive https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.190550/mode/2up

Both provide for downloads in multiple formats.