Hickman presents two lectures on John Dewey’s philosophy

Larry HickmanDistinguished philosophy Professor Larry Hickman will present two lectures for the 40th annual Walter Powell-Linfield College philosophy lectures on Monday, March 14, and Tuesday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Jonasson Hall in the lower level of Melrose Hall at Linfield.

On Monday, Hickman will present “Secularism, Secularization and John Dewey: Post-Modernism without Nihilism,” a lecture that offers suggestions for thinking about dogmatism and diversity, supernaturalism, anti-religious sentiment, humanist alternatives to supernaturalism, and what Hickman calls “bridge” supernaturalism. Hickman will argue that John Dewey’s philosophy of religion as articulated in his 1934 book “A Common Faith” provides important tools for plotting steady courses of action amid the complexities of the American religious landscape.

On Tuesday, Hickman will present “Genuine Concepts in John Dewey’s Educational Philosophy.” As a part of his work in logic and educational philosophy, Dewey described methods of inquiry that are capable of producing what he termed “genuine” concepts, which are distinguished from both nominal and analytic concepts. Some of the educational consequences of these distinctions are explored, and two examples are provided; one at length and in detail, the other more briefly. The first examines concepts that influence public policy regarding adoption of children by same-sex couples. The second addresses the difficulties of generating genuine concepts of democracy.

Hickman is director of the Center for Dewey Studies and professor of philosophy at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. His work as director and ambassador for the Center for Dewey Studies has contributed to the global renaissance of Dewey-based scholarship and practices. Hickman is the author of “Modern Theories of Higher Level Predicates,” “John Dewey’s Pragmatic Technology,” “Philosophical Tools for Technological Culture” and “Pragmatism as Post-Postmodernism.” He is also the editor or co-editor of more than 15 volumes, including “Technology as a Human Affair,” “Reading Dewey,” “The Essential Dewey” (with Thomas Alexander), “The Correspondence of John Dewey, 1871-1952” (four volumes, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2008) and “John Dewey’s Educational Philosophy in International Perspective: A New Democracy for the 21st Century” (with Giuseppe Spadafora). He has written dozens of articles, appearing in nationally and internationally acclaimed venues such as Acta Philosophica Fennica, John Dewey at 150: Reflections for a New Century, Technology and Values, American Philosophy: An Encyclopedia, and A Real American Philosopher: American Scholars on Dewey (in Chinese). In addition, Hickman has given numerous presentations around the world. He is the recipient of over a dozen honors and awards and has received more than 50 grants over the course of his career.

The Walter Powell-Linfield College Annual Philosophy Lectureship is in recognition of a generous gift from Michael Powell in honor of his father. Walter Powell founded Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, the largest private bookstore in the United States with over one million volumes.

The events are free and open to the public. Receptions with light refreshments will follow each lecture. For more information contact Kaarina Beam, Linfield assistant professor of philosophy, at kbeam@linfield.edu or 503-883-2216.