John Dewey

Born in Burlington, Vermon, John Dewey taught high school before receiving his Ph.D. in philosophy from Johns Hopkins (1884). After teaching at the U of Michigan, U of Minnesota, and the U of Chicago, Dewey spent the last 27 years at Columbia (he retired in 1931). An educational reformer at heart, Dewey’s psychology, like that of William James, emphasized practical functions of the mind. He held that a psychological act can’t be broken into elemental parts. Learning not to touch a hot flame is an entire adaptive function, and is not reducible to its component parts.

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