The Later Works, 1925-1953: 1925
John Dewey's Experience and Nature has been considered the fullest expression of his mature philosophy since its eagerly awaited publication in 1925. Irwin Edman wrote at that time that "with monumental care, detail and completeness, Professor Dewey has in this volume revealed the metaphysical heart that beats its unvarying alert tempo through all his writings, whatever their explicit themes." In his introduction to this volume, Sidney Hook points out that "Dewey's Experience and Nature is both the most suggestive and most difficult of his writings." The meticulously edited text published here as the first volume in the series The Later Works of John Dewey, 1925-1953 spans that entire period in Dewey's thought by including two important and previously unpublished documents from the book's history: Dewey's unfinished new introduction written between 1947 and 1949, edited by the late Joseph Ratner, and Dewey's unedited final draft of that introduction written the year before his death. In the intervening years Dewey realized the impossibility of making his use of the word 'experience' understood. He wrote in his 1951 draft for a new introduction: "Were I to write (or rewrite) Experience and Nature today I would entitle the book Culture and Nature and the treatment of specific subject-matters would be correspondingly modified. I would abandon the term 'experience' because of my growing realization that the historical obstacles which prevented understanding of my use of 'experience' are, for all practical purposes, insurmountable. I would substitute the term 'culture' because with its meanings as now firmly established it can fully and freely carry my philosophy of experience."
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action activity actual affairs animal appear asserted aware become belief body called cause character common complete conception concerned conclusions connection consciousness consequences constitute continuity course criticism culture defined denotes desire Dewey dialectic direct distinction effect empirical ends essence esthetic existence experience experienced external fact final follow function give given Greek hence human ideal ideas immediate implications important individual inquiry intellectual intelligence interaction interest involved kind knowing knowledge language logical marks material matter meanings metaphysics method mind modes moral nature objects observation occur operations organic original particular perception philosophy physical possession possible practical present problem qualities question reality reason reference reflection relations respect scientific sense separate significant situation social subject-matter taken theory things thinking thought tion traits truth universal whole