John Dewey (1859-1952) remains an extremely influential thinker whose thought sums up important trends in American life. Many oppose his thought and the trends it favors. He wrote a huge amount (his collected works run to 37 volumes) and frequently expressed himself unclearly or outright contradicted himself. Perhaps as a consequence, too many criticisms of Dewey are uninformed. There are good grounds for criticizing him, however, and the purpose of this page is to help people do so. I turned up the materials in the course of working on my own critical analysis of Dewey’s philosophy, and thought it might help others to make them available on the web.
Here are resources critical of Dewey and his philosophy:
- The Nihilism of John Dewey, by Paul K. Crosser (Philosophical Library, 1955).
- A collection of websites critical of Dewey.
- Was Dewey a Marxist?, by William Brooks. Also see Dewey’s Impressions of Soviet Russia and the revolutionary world
- The Unknown Dewey: John Dewey vs. the Alexander Technique. Discussion and quotes put together by a long-time student of the Alexander Technique who objects to Dewey’s philosophy generally and in particular to attempts to associate him with the Technique.
- A Dialogue between Confucius and Dr. John Dewey. Not anti-Dewey, really, but it does suggest some limitations on his thought.
- “Closed Cosmic Morality and Open Cosmic Morality”, from Jacques Maritains’ book Moral Philosophy, includes a section on “John Dewey and the Objectivity of Values—the Inconsistency of Absolute Naturalism”
- Essays by Rev. John A. Hardon, S.J.:
- John Dewey: Philosopher of the American Mental Deconstruction, by Peter Chojnowski.
- Dewey and the Arrogance of Reason, by Frank Margonis. Criticisms from a multicultural antiauthoritarian somewhat traditionalist educationist’s standpoint.