Introduction to Socrates Tenured (forthcoming)

“Philosophy recovers itself when it ceases to be a device for dealing with the problems of philosophers and becomes a method, cultivated by philosophers, for dealing with the problems of men.”   –John Dewey

In 1917 John Dewey published “The Need for a Recovery of Philosophy,” a reflection on the role of philosophy in early 20th century American life. In it Dewey expressed concern that philosophy had become “sidetracked from the main currents of contemporary life,” too much the domain of professionals and adepts. He took pains to note that the classic questions of philosophy had made immense contributions to culture both past and present. But he was concerned that the topics being raised by the new class of professional philosophers were too often “discussed mainly because they have been discussed rather than because contemporary conditions of life suggest them.”  read more