Compared to any aprioristic treatment of morality, Dewey’s Ethics (both in its 1908 edition and in the 1932 revised version) stands out for its emphasis on the fact that reflective and intelligent evaluations, as well as individual decisions, do not come first, i.e. are not made in a vacuum. Rather, they arise out of a background of largely pre-personal and habitual, qualitatively, affectively or aesthetically configured ways of reacting to environmental circumstances and other people’s conducts, which have to be taken into account both as the source of more reflective behaviours, intelligent and voluntary decision-making, evaluations and judgments, and as their ultimate point of arrival. This position was enhanced and became more coherent in the shift from the first to the second edition because in the meantime Dewey was able to develop a conception of human nature and behaviour according to which both habitual features and the qualitative or aesthetic characters of experience are seen as pervasive and structural in each phase of a moral processes. While sharing Edel’s preference for an anthropological treatment of ethics (Edel 2001), this paper endorses the thesis that such an approach must be rooted not only in Dewey’s theory of habits –which is more fully developed in Human Nature and Conduct – but also in his idea of primarily qualitative, aesthetic or affective meanings of experience, which was explicitly expounded in Experience and Nature. By pointing at this second anthropological root of Dewey’s treatment of ethics, this approach helps reveal that Dewey’s position strongly contrasts with the traditional divide between ethics and aesthetics characterizing modern thought (Gadamer 1960/90), insofar as it highlights a common source between the ethic and the aesthetic dimensions of human experience.
DREON Roberta (Corresponding)
|Titolo:||Dewey's Fully Embedded Ethics|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||3.1 Articolo su libro|
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|dreondeweyethics.pdf||Testo completo del volume, inclusivo dell'articolo di Roberta Dreon||Documento in Pre-print||Accesso gratuito (solo visione)||Open Access dal 04/08/2023|