John Dewey and Daoist Thought

Experiments in Intra-cultural Philosophy, Volume One

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Jim Behuniak
  • Albany: 
    State University of New York Press
    , August
     420 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Proposes an “intra-cultural philosophy” based on John Dewey’s “cultural turn” and promotes Daoist thought as a resource that can help to reconstruct outmoded assumptions that continue to shape how we currently think.

In this timely and original work, Dewey’s late-period “cultural turn” is recovered and “intra-cultural philosophy” proposed as its next logical step—a step beyond what is commonly known as comparative philosophy. The first of two volumes, John Dewey and Daoist Thought argues that early Chinese thought is poised to join forces with Dewey in meeting our most urgent cultural needs: namely, helping us to correct our outdated Greek-medieval assumptions, especially where these result in pre-Darwinian inferences about the world.

Relying on the latest research in both Chinese and American philosophies, Jim Behuniak establishes “specific philosophical relationships” between Dewey’s ideas and early Daoist thought, suggesting how, together, they can assist us in getting our thinking “back in gear” with the world as it is currently known through the biological, physical, and cognitive sciences. Topics covered include the organization of organic form, teleology, cosmology, knowledge, the body, and technology—thus engaging Dewey with themes generally associated with Daoist thought. Volume one works to establish “Chinese natural philosophy” as an empirical framework in which to consider cultural-level phenomena in volume two.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Jim Behuniak is Professor of Philosophy at Colby College. He is the author of John Dewey and Confucian Thought: Experiments in Intra-cultural Philosophy, Volume Two and Mencius on Becoming Human, both also published by SUNY Press.


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