Date of Award

Fall 1983

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dupuis, A. M.

Second Advisor

Bogenschild, Erika G.

Third Advisor

Martin, Thomas


The main difficulty with academic philosophy is that it serves no useful purpose, a fact that Dewey fully appreciated. This dissertation attempts to rectify the current situation. Justification for the expansion of a theory of inquiry to include self-analysis is clearly indicated in Section I. All of the statements of the author's dissertation are neither true nor false, only plausible. Such is the nature of self-knowledge, it is not implausible. A large percentage of the ontological assumptions held jointly be Dewey and George E. Moore were found not to be inconsistent with plausible self-knowledge. However, the criterion by which we know the self is not the same as the one we use to know the real world. Justification for a humanistic education compatible with a revised theory of self-developement is also indicated in Section II. The mind does not develop the way the body (or brain) does. The author believes that it is a hopeless task to try to convert education into a science without reference to the individual. An authentic education must promote self-revelation and augment releasement. Justification for a genuine theory of the personal self is advanced in Section III. Such a doctrine should also be consistent with self-evaluative judgements. Social psychology conceived as a mere method of investigation can not be sustained. If personal knowledge is familiar, then social knowledge is credible, since the latter is an outgrowth of the former. Justification for a personalized ethics, grounded in a coherency doctrine of truth, is also indicated in Section IV. Kant erred in regarding all ethical maxims as a priori. When a person is isolated from society, his (or her) ethical judgements lean toward the naturalistic fallacy. Dewey erred in regarding all social customs as useful to the actor. When judgements about the self are ignored by one, for socio-ethical judgements about others, one is lead back into a sociological fallacy.



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