Talk:John Dewey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Chicago (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Chicago, which aims to improve all articles or pages related to Chicago or the Chicago metropolitan area.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Education (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Education, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of education and education-related topics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Psychology (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Psychology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Psychology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Biography / Science and Academia (Rated B-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the science and academia work group (marked as Top-importance).
 
WikiProject Philosophy (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Philosophy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of content related to philosophy on Wikipedia. If you would like to support the project, please visit the project page, where you can get more details on how you can help, and where you can join the general discussion about philosophy content on Wikipedia.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Illinois (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Illinois, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Illinois on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Politics (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Politics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of politics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject New York / Columbia University  (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject New York, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the U.S. state of New York on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Columbia University (marked as Low-importance).
 
WikiProject Socialism (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Socialism, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of socialism on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team
WikiProject icon This article has been reviewed by the Version 1.0 Editorial Team.
 
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the quality scale.
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for John Dewey:
  1. List the priority tasks needed to improve this article.

Article needs to discuss Dewey's crucial leadership role in the Secular Humanist movement - particularly his involvement with Humanist Manifest Number One.--DrWSO 00:43, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

I know this is an old comment, but frankly, I can't imagine anything that this article needs less than to spend time trying to position Dewey as a "secular humanist." A humanist, yes,-- but "secular humanist" is one of those terms our age specializes in; it pretends to be a neutral judgement, but in fact is freighted with a rather tedious partisanship. (Despite its peculiar relationship to a particular group, it is now more commonly used as an epithet by those who oppose it.) I, frankly, think it should be used with great care as a descriptor in any NPOV argument. (The term humanist does not need an adjective; were the adjective necessary, then one would expect to hear, as commonly, the term "religious humanist"? That this second term does not exist in any sort of common usage suggests the degree to which this term (secular humanist) has gotten away from those who created it and become something else altogether. The bottom line is it is not a term that, so far as I know, Dewey ever used to describe himself. Although, humanist (without adjective) is a term he seems to have been comfortable with. Mddietz (talk) 20:43, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
In searching the Dewey data base for references to "secular humanism" I found the following in the editorial matter (the term is NOT used by Dewey himself).
In the seventies and eighties Dewey has been accused of fathering "secular humanism" and thus eroding religious values. The critics are no doubt correct in identifying the schools as agents of social change and in attributing to Dewey the view that such a function is appropriate for the schools. It is a pity that educators have sometimes retreated in the face of militant vigilantes who oppose the schools' efforts to engage in moral education or to clarify and transform values, for this examination is a vital part of any education relevant to contemporary problems. Dewey argues that values are not absolute or fixed but need to be reappraised and evaluated in the context of contemporary society through the use of critical intelligence. [Page lw.5.xiv - xv]
And a little later the following:
Many of Dewey's foes blame the growth of secular humanism in later years on his influence. Dewey is clearly a humanist, but in what sense? ... Dewey's own humanism is like Bacon's, for it attempts to integrate science and to use it in the service of mankind. Dewey concludes with a statement of what humanism means to him: "Humanism . . . is an expansion, not a contraction, of human life, an expansion in which nature and the science of nature are made the willing servants of human good." Dewey's definition is especially interesting in view of the recent development of the ecological movement. This new romanticism, in the name of humanism, often condemns science and technology, seeks to preserve nature and to return to it as the idyllic womb and standard of all value. In one sense it is not unlike the literary humanism of More and Babbitt that Dewey was objecting to. [Page lw.5.XXX - xxxi; the comments in both these excerpts come from Paul Kurtz]
Technopat, not sure if this fits anywhere in here (as a short sentence or two, at most), but Dewey's "humanism" is interesting and, I think, quite relevant. Much of Dewey interpretation is a tightrope walk, with two extremes trying to pull one toward opposing extremes. Mddietz (talk) 19:25, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Greetings Mddietz. Agree with your comments. Have you visited Secular humanism? Just had a quick peep & keeping well away from it - have enough trouble getting this article encyclopedic... and keeping it so once folks get back from their summer holidays. Regards, --Technopat (talk) 10:50, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Technopat: yes, I had looked at the secular humanism page (and made some changes to what I originally wrote after looking there). Rather a lot of people want to claim (or villify) Dewey, which is part of what has made this article such an interesting mess. Do you think that the Dewey quotation: "Humanism ... servants of human good" might make a nice call out in the social and plitical activism section? Mddietz (talk) 16:30, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

2. Change the secondary quote from Feenberg in the "democracy" section to a primary quote, or remove it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.164.227.38 (talk) 08:00, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Work in China[edit]

Can his work in China, and with the China Institute, be mentioned? Badagnani (talk) 22:27, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Greetings Badagnani - please go ahead and add. Cheers! --Technopat (talk) 04:12, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

I added a section on Japan and China, just to get the ball rolling. Should be briefly expanded to show more of what he learned, and probably be more smoothly integrated into a section which also deals with his "study abroad" experiences in Mexico and Soviet Union. I may be able to get to sooner or later, but don't wait if you have material. One among many good sources is David Engerman, "John Dewey and the Soviet Union: Pragmatism Meets Revolution," Modern Intellectual History 3.1 (April 2006): 33-63. DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1479244305000594 ch (talk) 19:52, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Recent additions to the page[edit]

I have undone the recent additions to the page by mpano which included the quotation above that was credited to Dewey but was not by Dewey. Mpano also included much POV. I have asked mpano on his talk page to join me on the article's talk page before adding anything back, with teh exception of the comment on Alan Bloom's critique of Dewey which clearly belongs here. Mddietz (talk) 18:47, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Criticism section[edit]

Cynically dismissive? Oh my. I have been called many things, but... mrcolj, I think you may be erroneously assuming that those who contributed these comments (Technopat and myself) agree with them. We were struglling with an article that had too much POV in it and we sequestered some of the POV into a Criticism section. Those criticisms, I think you will find, are quite real (and I would agree somewhat cynically offensive), but they do need to be better supported, so I have no problem at all with you actions. I do think this section could be stronger. The criticisms of Dewey have been quite pronounced both in his lifetime and in the past few decades, and they have come from both the right and left. His star is on the rise again, but that is perhaps all the more reason we should not forget the criticisms, so that we do not fall into an inappropriate idolatry that Dewey himself, I am sure, would find offensive. Regards, Mark Dietz Mddietz (talk) 18:59, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for posting a discussion instead of just deleting my comments without such! No, I'm not calling your cynically dismissive, especially if you were sequestering these comments from other people. I'm merely saying that most of the criticisms have--often irrelevant--disclaimers which are given too much weight. So let me poke a few examples:
"what he did to our schools,"[1] a catch-all phrase which never actually pinpoints any specific criticism -- that's not encyclopedic at all. It's a vague blow-off of what, at best, reflects that the author hasn't dug into the criticism. I understand that Dewey would not be 100% in line with modern progressivism, but that doesn't mean his critics can't pinpoint any specific criticism when they say "what he did to our schools." Plus, my point still stands that the critics see Columbia as an obsequious nest of Dewey-ites, so news standards would generally frown upon the use of any quote by a Columbia professor on the topic.
However, in reviewing the book in The Quarterly Review of Biology (1954), noted geneticist H. Bentley Glass openly wondered if the rift between religion and science would have taken much the same course, even if there had not been a John Dewey.[2]. -- I like this sentence, actually, assuming H. Bentley Glass is sufficiently notable, which I'm not sure of. But it's irrelevant. I mean, if I wonder the opposite would it merit inclusion in the article? Is there any reason to believe that Glass' "wonderings" mean anything? That's why I removed it.
while on the other, quite a few on the left find him too conservative by today's post-modern standards. -- This I think should be removed by Wikipedia's standards, as it is what they call "weasel words". It's just a "reasonable people may disagree" line.
randomly, "leveled" can be spelled with or without two Ls in the middle. I didn't actually look it up, just obeyed Firefox's spell-checker. :)

Again, thanks for your work. I just made comments because in the end I think Dewey's major legacy will be in the corporatization of the school system, in changing the focus from student success to the success and perpetuation of the system, granted all in the name of minimizing risk and spreading freedom abroad. In 100 years his legacy may be different, but for now he's known as the guy who fought to replace history with social studies, civics with government, etc.--Mrcolj (talk) 15:53, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Okay, I did not think I was arguing with any of this; and I didn't change what you had done, because as I said I agreed with it. The only thing I found humorouss (and mildly inappropriate) was the catty business about being "cynically dismissive." But it is your choice how you engage others, not mine. As for your assessment of Dewey, not sure I understand what "corporatization of the school system means," does not sound like Dewey to me. But, again, that is your assessment, not mine. My interest in Dewey is partly his educational theory, partly his pragmatic criticism; we shall have to see how these play out in the future, but Rorty (rather ham-handedly, I think) and others are changing how he is perceived even as we speak. Let's see what they do with him. Mddietz (talk) 21:24, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Oops! didn't notice that technopat had put those things back. Let's not get into a revert war. mrcolj has some legitimate critiques here. We probably most need to get our hands on some good sources for these critiques. Rorty, for example has coupled a rather significant critique with his promotion of Dewey -- he makes it clear that he holds onto the isolation of the individual despite Dewey's arguments to the contrary. This is a significant critique and easy to get a citation on. (And while Rorty does not call himself a postmodernist he is usually taken as one.) I'd have to do a little hunthing to see what else I can find. Mddietz (talk) 21:34, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Auditing of Dewey-inspired schools?[edit]

Is the a group that evaluates, accredits, or otherwise audits schools according to how many of Dewey's principles they follow? That would help greatly with a third-party verification of the list —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikip rhyre (talkcontribs) 18:05, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Part of the problem is that Dewey's principles are unclear. Are they based on the work he did in the Chicago laboratory school? On the evaluation of progressive schools he made with his daughter? The international reports he wrote for Turkey, Soviet Union, China, or Mexico? Or on his philosophical writings about education? The problem is that none of these provide anything like a full set of real, practical criteria that can be implemented in a school. As most readers of Dewey quickly discover, this great pragmatist was not a very practical writer. I am not sure that having a third party evaluation would change matters much, but frankly I could think of no other way to make such an assessment. But I cannot imagine Dewey would be very keen on the idea. I can imagine him saying, "and why would you want to do such a thing?" Mddietz (talk) 00:19, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

See also section and External links section[edit]

I removed a few entries already linked in the lead and will check for others already linked per WP:SEEALSO. The EL section also seems like it could use a check. Anyways, hopefully this isn't too contensious. Thanks, --Tom (talk) 20:25, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Over use of internal links?[edit]

Is it me? I won't tag until others comment I guess. --Tom (talk) 20:37, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Oh! I followed your link to See Also, and that makes sense to me. Should have asked before I reverted. Sorry. If I read correctly, it's a bit of a local call as to what to do here. I guess I vote for leaving them in the See Also list, but I don't feel too strongly about it. Appreciate the explanation; I'll let you make the decision on this and will support you either way. Mddietz (talk) 19:38, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

No need to apologize. If an internal link is already in the article, especially in the lead, I would not include it again in the See also section. Ideally, all the links in the See also section should be incorporated into the article. Like EVERY policy/rule/guideline around here, there is always excpetions and ultimately it is up to communitty consensus. Anyways, cheers! --Tom (talk) 22:23, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
I trimmed the list Rjensen (talk) 02:48, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Religious beliefs[edit]

A section might be added on variations of atheism, including Spinozan views, for example, but that appears to be mere sophistry around a basic fact. Dewey denied a personal God, which, in common understanding makes him atheist. Attempting to hide that fact behind various minor face-lifts is only deception. If most people who do research emphatically think otherwise, then they will win. But from all readings of Dewey he was, in effect, atheist, and this had a profound effect on his efforts to eliminate religous views from thought on morality, and on the formation of the philosophy of public education today as well. Since it is highly relevant and of central importance to his thought, this must be mentioned. Rusmeister (talk) 03:50, 7 September 2010 (UTC) See "Democracy and Education", ch 26, John Dewey Rusmeister (talk) 03:52, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Not sure why this is so important to you, Rusmeister. If you said that Dewey is seldom seen as a spokesperson for Christianity (although he was so to some extent at the beginning of his career), I suspect no one would disagree. And I know he was often accused of being a secular humanist (which he denied because he thought the word "secular" did not apply to him as he still believed in "the idea of God," if not in the Christian god per se). Now this article we are working on is about what is historically correct, not about our personal conceptions of what may or may not be deception or circumlocution or sophistry or whatever. (And frankly if you were at all close to the issue, as I have been for the last few years, you would know that Dewey's voice on public education has been drowned out by both the left and the right, neither of whom seem to really care what Dewey actually said.)
If we need to explain fully what Dewey's beliefs were, we should do so. But "atheist" is not a correct term for Dewey. By your definition of atheism as not believing in a personal god, all religions prior to the personal god tradition of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religions would be atheistic. I don't think that's what you meant, but that is what you said. And in any event your definition should follow a standard dictionary when we are working in a public forum like this, not on what you think most people believe. While there was plenty of debate over Spinoza, he was often called an atheist, too. But almost always with some caveat, a broader explanation than the single epithet "atheist". Perhaps we need the broader expression here.
And see the comment below for why "atheist" does not belong in the first paragraph. Now you have had two expression of disagreement from the broader community. I will leave it to you to correct the opening paragraph as you know you should, for I am sure you are as an honest and good wikipedia editor, and will do what is right for the community. Let's work together on this and not try so hard to force the issue, shall we? (By the way, if you have not read "A Common Faith" you probably are not fully prepared to be able to make the assessments you are trying to make here. As I said earlier, I agree with you about amateurism; listen to what you werre saying to someone else. A good editor applies the same standards to himself as he does to others.) Mddietz (talk) 21:44, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Atheism[edit]

It seems inappropriate to put his atheism in the very first sentence. The rest of the sentence (American philosopher, psychologist, educational reformer) describes things he did, not attributes he had (other than American, but it's fairly standard to put nationality at the head of such a list). It doesn't fit with the context. Perhaps it could be moved to a bit later in the introduction? It's certainly relevant, but it just doesn't belong there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 8.19.93.179 (talk) 22:59, 23 September 2010 (UTC) This seems to treat a person's worldview as unimportant, when in fact it is the most important thing that determines absolutely everything one stands for and does in life. If one is a martyr under Diocletian, then obviously their worldview is absolutely the most important thing in their life - something they were ready to die for - and did. If a person wishes to promote views that remove existing ideas about God and religion from education - as Dewey decidedly did - then that obviously has an enormous impact on their work. The other obvious point is that one's essence is surely at least as important as one's actions - that what one IS or stands for is of at least equal importance to their actions per se. If Abraham Lincoln was American, I would not think that something that ought to be left out of the introductory context of his life merely because it was not something that he "did". Rusmeister (talk) 20:03, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

I take it then that you are not going to remove the incorrect comment that Dewey was an atheist. Very well. I will remove it one more time. Please do not put it back until you have a secondary source for it (not primary source, because we are not scholars here, we are editors; we report, we don't analyze). If you revert me I will call in an Administrator to help you understand how inappropriate your actions are. (And again I cannot overemphasize that your claim is contrary to current scholarship on this issue; you are not an adequate scholar of this material to be making the judgments you are making. Dewey never claimed to be an atheist, never equated his religious beliefs with his commentaries on education, never stood up for atheism, it is not a part of either his being or his doing. Moreover, whether he was an atheist or not, has nothing to do with his commentary on education. If so, the religious affiliation of every commentator on educaiton would need to be called out in this fashion. Why do you keep making this logically faulty connection? & Dewey's ontology tends to conflate action and being -- making your comment rather ironic.) Mddietz (talk) 21:31, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

It is true that on Wikipedia the most determined person or side will 'win' - or the most fanatic. It seems to me that you want to obscure a basic and critical truth in understanding John Dewey in the name of pedantry. Your view that one's worldview has nothing to do with their philosophy is itself an amazingly logical disconnect. And yes, I do think that one's worldview should decidedly be expounded in any discussion of any work on their lives. I have an MA in Lit, and it took me another 10 years after earning it to realize that the author's worldview really is the most important thing to know about an author, religious or not. So go ahead. Call an administrator. You might even 'win'. But it wouldn't be right. Rusmeister (talk) 01:42, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

I have a background in literature, too. And one of the most ridiculous notions I have ever come across is Wimsatt's intentional fallacy. We do look to authorial intentiion even when we pretend we are not doing so. I agree with you wholeheartedly on that. (You might be surprised to know that Dewey, himself, never falls into that trap, nor the notion that texts have no meaning -- he took I.A. Richards to task on that issue.) I am not sure at what point I said that worldview and philosophy are unrelated. That would seem a very stupid thing to say, don't you agree? I'm so very glad I did not say that. The problem that I noted as illogical was your statement that if one is to comment on education one must reveal one's religious views even if one has not drawn direct and immediate connections between the two. Now in Dewey's case he did attempt to create a worldview that was more consistent than most people attempt. This is all the more reason why we should be accurate and not represent him as what he is not.
The problem, it seems to me, continues to be that Dewey was not an atheist. This is not pedantry. Have you looked into "A Common Faith" yet? When you do, I think you will come away with a very different opinion. Indeed, I would agree with you that Dewey comes close to being an atheist, but as they say, "close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades." I feel that trying to reduce and simplify the world is more dangerous than the problem you seem to be focused on. There is much more to Dewey than I think you realize. He is not the horrid author of all bad things in education that Alan Bloom painted for us in the "Closing of the American Mind." He is also not a proponent of teaching Chrisitan morality in the classroom. Tell the whole story and the true story, even if it goes against your own beliefs; that in my mind is the only thing that is right. I wish you the best. Mddietz (talk) 21:40, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Intro[edit]

Dewey was one of the founders of pragmatism in education in USA. Fine! Who were the other founders? This is clearly not a central question in the article about Dewey. The intro is supposed to have only the most important facts about the object of the article. --Ettrig (talk) 09:00, 16 December 2010 (UTC) But pragmatism says he wasn't even a founder. --Ettrig (talk) 09:07, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from NigelEd, 5 July 2011[edit]

Under the section titled "Publications" the book German Philosophy and Politics (1915) should be added in the correct chronological spot (directly after How We Think). This work of Dewey's is important in that is details is opinions on Kant.

NigelEd (talk) 23:40, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Done Jnorton7558 (talk) 05:23, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

I see that Dewey-bashing is back in vogue[edit]

I haven't checked this article out for a long time, but I see that a recently added reference to an article in American Thinker has been reinstated after having been deleted. After having wikified it, I'd recommend leaving it in there. It is indeed vitriolic, but actually does more to discredit his critics than anything else. And, apart from any other consideration, Wikipedia is not censored. Regards, --Technopat (talk) 11:47, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

The question is: "is it a true or a false statement?"Lestrade (talk) 12:36, 4 June 2013 (UTC)Lestrade
It has nothing to do with censorship. The relevant questions are: Is the source reliable? If so, is the material presented in a neutral manner and with due weight? I have doubts about the reliability of the source since it's highly partisan but I'll stipulate it for the sake of discussion. I don't have any significant issues with the neutrality of the statement that has been added (and removed and readded) to the article. But I do have a problem with us including such a blunt, aggressive statement in any article when that statement is only supported by one source of questionable reliability and impact. If this is indeed a true or popular sentiment then surely it's been discussed in other places that provide more evidence? Without more and better sources, this just looks like a sad little hit job motivated by political bias. ElKevbo (talk) 14:56, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not concerned with the "truth" or otherwise of the statements made/opinions held by others, it just has to reflect whatever number of "truths" are generally accepted. While I fully agree with the statement ("just looks like a sad little hit job motivated by political bias") above, the fact that the source's tone and/or motives is biased/partisan/vitriolic, is irrelevant. As pointed out above, the important questions must be "is the source reliable and verifiable" and "does the presentation of any such content in a Wikipedia article conform to NPOV"?
BTW, I still think "my" version conforms better to NPOV :) but happy to accept consensus, Regards, --Technopat (talk) 15:23, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
(I disagree that "the fact that the source's tone and/or motives is biased/partisan/vitriolic, is irrelevant" when considering reliability. They're certainly not the only things to take into consideration but they should certainly be part of the discussion.)
The question on the table is, to use your language, whether this particular fact is "generally accepted." I don't think the evidence provided thus far supports a claim that this fact is generally accepted. Dewey is a significant figure in U.S. history and philosophy so it stretches credulity that a damning but well-justified criticism would only be published once in one lesser-known venue. Such a case raises questions about the credibility of the claims. ElKevbo (talk) 15:52, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia should not speak in Wikipedia's own voice on matters of criticism and opinion, either positive or negative. Instead, where criticism is cited (either in praise of or against something) it should be directly attributed to the source who says it "So and so calls Dewey "Blah blah blah" and "Such and such is highly critical of Dewey in Blah blah blah" Where such criticism is relevant in that it appears in respected sources, it may be important to put in the article, but it should always explicitly put the criticism in the voice of the critic as blatantly as possible, and not in the voice of Wikipedia. --Jayron32 15:55, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Here's your addition: "On the other hand, one conservative philosopher has complained that Dewey was quite favorable about Soviet education in 1928." My response: 1) Are liberal or Marxist writers labeled as such? If not why should conservatives be labeled? 2) Others have also criticized Dewey, not only one philosopher. I have added a link to another critic. 3) Dewey was an apologist for Stalinism in general not merely the Stalinist educational system. I am making a few changes. I hope the compromise I am suggesting will be acceptable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jimjilin (talkcontribs) 17:48, 4 June 2013 (UTC) Jimjilin (talk) 17:51, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

So we're back to square 1, where I reckon "my" version seems to be most in line with Wikipedia's policies regarding NPOV: "On the other hand, American Thinker has accused Dewey of serving as Stalin's propagandist.". This a) reflects the exact words used by the medium in question, and b) doesn't put any label of any sort on said medium. The only possible quibble I can see is whether it might have been better to use "stated" instead of "accused". As for the source itself, I'm going on the fact that it has its own article at Wikipedia, which suggests (unless someone proposes it as AfD) that it can claim a certain amount of relevance, as opposed to a hypothetical case in which we were dealing with the writer's comment made on his/her own blog, and which would have to be assessed on a one-by-one basis depending on said writer's status within the academic world. --Technopat (talk) 21:06, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
In the cite in question [Daren Jonescu, "Dewey: Stalin's Propagandist, the World's Teacher"] Daren Jonescu qualifies as a RS -- he has a PhD in philosophy. The outlet he uses American Thinker is dedicated to presenting only conservative viewpoints. And yes, RS do indeed identify writers as Marxist/liberal/ Trotskyite/conservative etc when dealing with their political essays. That is standard in the RS. It's why Dewey is known asa liberal. Rjensen (talk) 21:28, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
A Google search for 'John Dewey Stalin' gives many results. One of them is a 2011 article in the Spectator. This article states that Dewey was pro-Soviet in the 1920s. John Dewey's exact position on Communism may need more study. If the editors feel that this aspect of Dewey should be covered more fully to make his article complete, there are reliable sources to be called upon, including some of Dewey's own writings. He wrote a book called "Impressions of Soviet Russia and The Revolutionary World", published in 1929 and still available in libraries. There is no need for us to base our coverage entirely on the single article in the American Thinker. Dewey was also one of the supporters of the Congress of Cultural Freedom, an anti-Communist group founded in 1950. EdJohnston (talk) 02:13, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
there is not much doubt that in the 1930s Dewey changed his mind and became and enemy of Stalin --that was later. We rely on secondary sources to cover Dewey's 1929 Impressions of Soviet Russia and The Revolutionary World which in fact is what Jonescu does, with ample quotes to make his point. Rjensen (talk) 02:48, 5 June 2013 (UTC)