John Dewey
JOHN DEWEY   Macroknow Library

Essays in Experimental Logic.

" . . . [R]eflection appears as the dominant trait of a situation when there is something seriously the matter, some trouble, due to active discordance, dissentiency, conflict among the factors of a prior non-intellectual experience . . ."1a

"If a scientific man be asked what is truth, he will reply . . . that which is accepted upon adequate evidence. And if he be asked for a description of adequacy of evidence, he certainly will refer to matters of observation and experiment."1b

"Proof , , , is accepting or rejecting a given proposition on the ground of its connection or lack of connection with some other proposition conceded or established. But inference does not terminate in any given proposition; it is after precisely those not given. It wants more facts, different facts. Thinking in the mode of inference insists upon terminating in an intellectual advance, in a consciousness of truths hitherto escaping us. . . Thinking endeavors to compel things as they present themselves, to yield up something hitherto obscure or concealed."1c

"Reflection is a process of finding out what . . . we really want, and this means the formation of new desire, a new direction of action. In this process, things get values -- something they did not possess before, although they had their efficiencies."1d

" . . . [A] man's real measure of value is exhibited in what he does, not in what he consciously thinks or says. For the doing is the actual choice. It is the completed reflection."1e

"The paradox of theory and practice is that theory is with respect to all other modes of practice the most practical of all things, and the more impartial and impersonal it is, the more truly practical it is."1f


* Italics in the original.

1 John Dewey (1859-1952). Essays in Experimental Logic. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 1954, 2004. (Unabridged republication of the edition published by the University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 1916.)
a I. Introduction, at 7.
b Ibid., at 40.
c VI. Some Stages of Logical Thought, at 132-133.
d XIV. The Logic of Judgments of Practice, at 235.
e Ibid., at 242.
f Ibid., at 280.