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Philosophie en langue anglaise

  • ECTS

    3 crédits

  • Code Apogée


  • Composante(s)

    UFR Humanités

  • Période de l'année

    Semestre 5


Responsable: Joseph Urbas

Horaire: voir l'hyperplanning

This course presents the philosophy of John Dewey (1859-1952)—one of the most influential public intellectuals in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century—through a complete reading of one of the best introductions to his thought, The Quest for Certainty (1929).

            In the course of the semester, we will proceed in an orderly fashion through all eleven chapters of The Quest for Certainty, with regular pauses to put Dewey's thought in broader perspective, against the background of philosophy's traditional problems (as he saw them) and in the context of the American pragmatist tradition as a whole.

            The first class will be devoted to a reading of chapter one, "Escape from Peril." 

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  1. To familiarize students with Dewey's philosophy as a whole, its critique of traditional philosophical dualisms, and its place in the American pragmatist tradition, with particular emphasis on classical pragmatism.
  2. To use Dewey as a case-study to give students a clear sense of the historical, cultural, and political stakes involved in the emergence of pragmatism as both an academic and a "public" philosophy.
  3. To reinforce the method of close reading of philosophical prose in English acquired in the first-year curriculum.
  4. To accustom students to the reading of a complete work of philosophy rather than excerpts.
  5. To strengthen discussion and writing skills in English on philosophical themes, combining both technical and everyday terms.
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Contrôle des connaissances

1ère session

Etudiants en régime général : 50% contrôle continu (exercices réalisés en TD ou à la maison) +  50% examen écrit terminal.

Etudiants en régime spécial : examen écrit terminal
 2ème session (rattrapage) 

Etudiants en régime général et spécial : examen écrit terminal

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Required Reading:

John Dewey, The Quest for Certainty:

A Study of the Relation of Knowledge and Action,

Gifford Lectures 1929

N.B. The original edition of the text is in the public domain and may be downloaded legally and for free at:



Background Readings in English (Optional):

  • John E. Smith, The Spirit of American Philosophy, London: Oxford University Press, 1963, (chapter 4: "John Dewey: Experience, Experiment, and the Method of Intelligence).
  • Richard J. Bernstein, John Dewey, New York: Washington Square Press, 1967.
  • Alan Ryan, John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism, New York: Norton, 1995 (especially the concluding chapter: "Death and Resurrection").
  • Steven Fesmire, Dewey, Routledge, 2014


See also (in the e-campus files):

  • Stephen Toulmin, "Introduction" to The Quest for Certainty.


Introductions in French:

  • Stéphane Madelrieux, La philosophie de Dewey, Paris: Vrin,  2016
  • Joëlle Zask, Introduction à John Dewey, La Découverte, 2015


See also in French:

  • Barbara Stiegler, "'Il faut s'adapter': sur un nouvel impératif politique," Gallimard, 2019
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