John Dewey's Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education seeks to both critique and further the educational philosophies espoused by both Rousseau and Plato. Dewey found that Rousseau's ideas overemphasized the individual, whereas Plato's did the same with the society that the individual lived in. Dewey felt this distinction to be a false one, seeing the formation of our minds as a communal process, like Vygotsky did. Hence an individual makes sense only as a part of society, and the society makes sense only as a realization of its individuals.
Except for Democracy and Education, the 53 items in Volume 10 include all of Dewey's writings from 1916–1917, the years when he moved into politics and began to write about topics of general public interest. The best known of Dewey's writings in this volume is the essay from Creative Intelligence, “The Need for a Recovery of Philosophy.” Here Dewey asserts that “Philosophy recovers itself when it ceases to be a device for dealing with the problems of philosophers and becomes a method for dealing with the problems of men.” Dewey put that idea into practice, as Lewis E. Hahn points out in his introduction. “In 1916–1917 [Dewey] commented on quite a range of issues from compulsory universal military training to the Wilson-Hughes presidential campaign, from conscription of thought to the future of pacifism, from what America will fight for to appropriate peace terms . . . and from American education and culture to contemporary issues in education, with the war casting a shadow over most of the items.”
Volume 11 brings together all of Dewey's writings for 1918 and 1919. A Modern Language Association Committee on Scholarly Editions textual edition. Dewey's dominant theme in these pages is war and its after-math. In the Introduction, Oscar and Lilian Handlin discuss his philosophy within the historical context: The First World War slowly ground to its costly conclusion; and the immensely more difficult task of making peace got painfully under way. The armi-stice that some expected would permit a return to normalcy opened instead upon a period of turbulence that agitated fur-ther a society already unsettled by preparations for battle and by debilitating conflict overseas. After spending the f...
Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education' is a 1916 book by John Dewey. Dewey sought to at once synthesize, criticize, and expand upon the democratic educational philosophies of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Plato. He saw Rousseau's philosophy as overemphasizing the individual and Plato's philosophy as overemphasizing the society in which the individual lived. Like George Herbert Mead and Lev Vygotsky, he viewed the mind and its formation as a communal process.
During the three years embraced by Volume 7, Dewey published twenty articles and reviews, one of the articles of monograph-length, “The Psychology of Social Behavior,” one small book, Interest and Effort in Education, and seventy encyclopedia articles. A salient and arresting feature of the essays is the continuing polemic between Dewey and some of his critics. Ralph Ross, whose perceptive Introduction to the volume provides a broad perspective of the various philosophical controversies in which Dewey was engaged, comments that “when Dewey was pitting himself against important adversaries, his talents as a critic were fully evident.”