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The Search for the Self: the Essence of Dewey’s Ethics

Teodora Pezzano

Abstract


This paper is divided into three brief parts and will try to clarify, in the young John Dewey, the meaning of the individual as a social organism. The individual as a social organism is considered as a «container and user» of democracy, in continuous movement and thus changeable, through: (a) the understanding of ethics, an ideal that loses value if it is separated from the spiritualistic-naturalistic conception; (b) the organic law of every individual. In fact, the subjective aspect, the intention, the inner thrust all link up with the objective aspect, the universal status, with society in all its aspects; (c) the role of social theory as a peculiar type of moral organism and as a concept of individual liberty to be understood in its positive meaning: becoming social individuals. These three aspects embody, within an educational perspective, the idea of progress that consists of the common good and common duty, thus becoming the main thread of Dewey’s democratic theory. By means of pedagogical dictates Dewey will prove that, in order to become a «conscious act», the creation of a State must become the representation of the individual’s essence.


Keywords


Being; Democracy; Education; Ethics; Self; Democrazia; Educazione; Etica; Essere; Sé

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ecps-2013-007-pezz



 


Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (19/05/2010 n. 278)
Online ISSN 2037-7924 - Print ISSN 2037-7932

Research Laboratory on Didactics and Evaluation - Department of Education - "Roma Tre" University


Executive Editor: Gaetano Domenici - Managing  Editor: Valeria Biasci
Editorial Board: Giuditta Alessandrini - Eleftheria Argyropoulou - Massimo Baldacci - Joao Barroso - Richard Bates - Christofer Bezzina - Paolo Bonaiuto - Lucia Boncori - Pietro Boscolo - Sara Bubb  - Carlo Felice Casula - Jean-Émile Charlier - Lucia Chiappetta Cajola - Carmela Covato - Jean-Louis Derouet - Peter Early - Franco Frabboni - Constance Katz - James Levin - Pietro Lucisano  - Roberto Maragliano - Romuald Normand - Michael Osborne - Donatella Palomba - Michele Pellerey - Clotilde Pontecorvo - Vitaly V. Rubtzov - Jaap Scheerens - Noah W. Sobe - Francesco Susi - Giuseppe Spadafora - Pat Thomson
Editorial Staff: Fabio Alivernini - Guido Benvenuto - Anna Maria Ciraci - Massimiliano Fiorucci - Luca Mallia - Massimo Margottini - Giovanni Moretti - Carla Roverselli 
Editorial Secretary:
Nazarena Patrizi