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008    100902s2010    ||||||||||||||||| ||eng d 
020    9781109583601 
035    (UMI)AAI3395870 
040    UMI|cUMI 
100 1  Katz, Rebecca M 
245 10 John Dewey and perfectionism:  Difficulties interpreting 
       the experimental life 
300    167 p 
500    Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 71-
       01, Section: A, page: 0132 
500    Adviser:  Denis C. Phillips 
502    Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2010 
520    A reawakening is simultaneously occurring in two 
       traditionally opposing camps of moral and ethical theory: 
       moral perfectionism and the pragmatic ethical theory of 
       John Dewey. Moral perfectionism puts forth an objective 
       theory of the good human life and subsequently bases moral
       claims upon this account Perfectionist theories posit a 
       fixed end or ideal (or, if a series of them, usually in 
       some kind of teleological order) whose attainment always 
       ought to be sought. These ideal ends or objective goods 
       exist outside of the immediate and specific moral problem 
       at hand and guide ethical action by providing rules of 
       conduct. Dewey's theory rejects the existence of any such 
       objective and inherently valuable ends to ethical action, 
       instead putting forth a normative theory centered on his 
       novel conception of growth. Deweyan goals or ends 
       constantly evolve in light of new discoveries and 
       experiences and are subjected to collective experiential 
       verification within specific social settings. Instead of 
       steadfast rules, there are principles that are rooted in 
       experience and which evolve in light of new evidence; 
       instead of ideal universal ends and objective goods, there
       are ends-in-view that serve as tools in the resolution of 
       moral problems 
520    Both perfectionism and Deweyan ethics, having previously 
       fallen out of favor for being associated with questionable
       or deficient interpretations and doctrines, are being 
       reconsidered with growing interest. Additionally, attempts
       to bridge the two camps are emerging, and these usually 
       claim that Dewey's ethics espouse perfectionist tenets. 
       This dissertation stands at the intersection of these 
       emerging camps: my goal is to offer a contribution that 
       clears the ground by clarifying what, first, Dewey has to 
       say about perfectionism and, second, how this relates to 
       the cogency of his ethical theory as well as the validity 
       of contemporary attempts to cast Dewey as a perfectionist.
       In the course of pursuing this program, I demonstrate how 
       Dewey thoroughly rejects traditional "thick" versions of 
       perfectionism that prescribe relatively restrictive 
       criteria of human good. Upon scrutinizing Dewey's theory 
       from within the correct framework---his own reconstructed 
       one---I reveal how it is, indeed, coherent although it may
       not be sufficiently adequate. Additionally, in light of 
       the exegesis clarifying his ethical theory, I show the 
       recent reinterpretations of Dewey as a perfectionist are 
       flawed and inadequate. However, new perfectionist theories
       currently being developed stipulate more flexible (or 
       "thin") criteria, taking into account situational 
       variation and recognize the importance of contingent 
       experiences. It is possible this "thin" species of 
       perfectionism does not succumb to Dewey's critique of 
       perfectionism and that Dewey's own ethical theory and his 
       notion of education as growth can be reinterpreted as 
       incorporating thin perfectionist premises. The groundwork 
       provided by this dissertation allows for further 
       exploration of this open question 
590    School code: 0212 
650  4 Ethics 
650  4 Philosophy 
650  4 Education, Philosophy of 
690    0394 
690    0422 
690    0998 
710 2  Stanford University 
773 0  |tDissertation Abstracts International|g71-01A 
856 40 |uhttp://pqdd.sinica.edu.tw/twdaoapp/servlet/