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John Dewey Quotes

An American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer.
(1859 - 1952)

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A democracy is more than a form of government; it is primarily a mode of associated living, of conjoint communicated experience.

A possibility of continuing progress is opened up by the fact that in learning one act, methods are developed good for use in other situations. Still more important is the fact that the human being acquires a habit of learning. He learns to learn.

A society which is mobile, which is full of channels for the distribution of a change occurring anywhere, must see to it that its members are educated to personal initiative and adaptability. Otherwise, they will be overwhelmed by the changes in which they are caught and whose significance or connections they do not perceive.

Any education given by a group tends to socialize its members, but the quality and the value of the socialization depends upon the habits and aims of the group. Hence, once more, the need of a measure for the worth of any given mode of social life.

Anyone who has begun to think, places some portion of the world in jeopardy.

Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.

As long as art is the beauty parlor of civilization, neither art nor civilization is secure.

As long as politics is the shadow cast on society by big business, the attenuation of the shadow will not change the substance.

But the individual butterfly or earthquake remains just the unique existence which it is. We forget in explaining its occurrence that it is only the occurrence that is explained, not the thing itself.

By object is meant some element in the complex whole that is defined in abstraction from the whole of which it is a distinction.

Confidence ... is directness and courage in meeting the facts of life.

Each generation is inclined to educate its young so as to get along in the present world instead of with a view to the proper end of education: the promotion of the best possible realization of humanity as humanity. Parents educate their children so that they may get on; princes educate their subjects as instruments of their own purpose.

Education is a social process. Education is growth. Education is, not a preparation for life; education is life itself.

Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.

Every subject at some phase of its development should possess, what is for the individual concerned with it, an aesthetic quality.

Every thinker puts some portion of an apparently stable world in peril and no one can wholly predict what will emerge in its place.

Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.

Faith was once almost universally thought to be acceptance of a definite body of intellectual propositions, acceptance being based upon authority - preferably that of revelation from on high. ... Of late there has developed an­other conception of faith. This is sug­gested by the words of an American thinker: "Faith is tendency toward action." According to such a view, faith is the matrix of formulated creeds and the inspiration of endeavor. . . . Faith in its newer sense signifies that experience itself is the sole ultimate authority.

Family life may be marked by exclusiveness,suspicion, and jealousy as to those without, and yet be a model of amity and mutual aid within. Any education given by a group tends to socialize its members, but the quality and value of the socialization depends on the habits and aims of the group.

Imposing an alleged uniform general method upon everybody breeds mediocrity in all but the very exceptional. And measuring originality by deviation from the mass breeds eccentricity in them.

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