John Dewey and Pragmatic Economics
Thompson, Jennifer K.
PHILOSOPHY JOHN DEWEY AND PRAGMATIC ECONOMICS JENNIFER K. THOMPSON Dissertation under the direction of Professor John Lachs The study of economics and economic life was important to John Dewey throughout his work. In this dissertation I examine the relationship of Dewey’s philosophy to economic life and economic theory. In particular, I consider the criticisms that Dewey makes of traditional philosophy and the ways in which the mistakes of philosophers have been replicated in the work of “scientific economists.” The dissertation attempts to explicate what Dewey meant by the “experimental method,” and it seeks to demonstrate how this method might be applied to economic life and theory. I argue that Dewey’s account of the experimental method is both one of the most important and the most underdeveloped aspects of his philosophy. I conclude that Dewey’s late characterization of philosophy without economics as “an escapist intellectual gymnastic” is one that Dewey scholars must attend to in much further detail if they hope to fully understand what Dewey means by “pragmatism.” Approved___________________________________________ Date________________