RE: [xmca] Dewey and Prolepsis

From: Michael Glassman <MGlassman who-is-at>
Date: Mon Apr 30 2007 - 10:17:03 PDT


The way I read Dewey right now there is no method for knowledge, because
knowledge is something of an illusion unless kept within its confines as
instrument (rather than answer). Related to Mike's earlier post, I
think he sees knowledge as something that occurred to solve a previous
problem and must now serve as a jumping off point (and nothing more) for
the next problem. In other words knowledge does not have a special
place in the current problem beyond other possible instruments. I think
Dewey might instead talk about a method of knowing, understanding how to
solve the problem at hand - and of course that method is logical inquiry
(I would argue without the positivist implications which change the
whole tenor of the idea from how most people approach it). I think
Dewey ties this all together best in his late book "The Knowing and the
Known" with Bentley. I don't think it's something new he came to - in
many ways I see his chapters in that book as a summing up, a chance to
lay out a theory of knowing once and for all.


-----Original Message-----
From: []
On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2007 11:58 AM
To:; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Dewey and Prolepsis


Dewey has been on my mind a lot lately, the text I have been studying is
"Nature and Experience". Rereading it has been an attempt to understand
the 'unit' of study for psychology. I like Vygotsky's use of" word" as
unit of measure but others have not, so I have tried a different
by turning to Dewey. ON page 318 of "Nature and Experience": When it
denied that we are conscious of events as such it is not meant that we
not aware of objects. Objects are precisely what we are aware of. FOr
objects are events with meanings. . .so intimate is the connection of
meanings with consciousness that there is no great difficulty in
"consciousness". . ."

However, I am still unclear as to what Dewey views as a method for
knowledge? I do know he refutes the dualism of realism but other than
. . .



                      "Mike Cole"

                      <lchcmike@gmail. To: "eXtended Mind,
Culture, Activity" <>
                      com> cc: Reijo Miettinen
                      Sent by: Subject: [xmca] Dewey and




                      04/29/2007 03:49


                      Please respond

                      to mcole; Please

                      respond to

                      "eXtended Mind,





Dear colleagues--

We have often stumbled over the notion of object in our discussions of
activity. Yesterday, reading
in Dewey's Logic I came across the following passage that I found
particularly interesting because it
relates the notion of object to prolepsis, a term I did not know Dewey
but which has been important
in my thinking. Here is the passage (p. 119).

The name objects will be reserved for subject-matter so far as it has
produced and ordered in settled form by
by means of inquiry; proleptically, objects are the objectives of
The apparent ambiguity of using "objects"
for this purpose (since the word is regularly applied to things that are
observed of thought of) is only apparent. For
things exist as objects for us only as they have been previously
as outcomes of inquiries. When used in
carrying on new inquiries in new problematic situations, they are known
objects in virtue of prior inquires which warrant
their assertibility. In the new situation, they are means of attaining
knowledge of something else. In the strict sense, they
are part of the contents of inquiry as the word content was defined
But retrospectively (that is, as products of prior
determination in inquiry, they are objects).

This way of expressing the temporally double sided, or double
of action in activity seemed useful.
On a Sunday afternoon.
xmca mailing list

xmca mailing list
xmca mailing list
Received on Mon Apr 30 11:17 PDT 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Mar 21 2008 - 16:41:48 PDT