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John Dewey’s Instrumentalism and Techno-Scientific Development: Its Implications to Man and Society

DOI: 10.4236/ojpp.2018.85038, PP. 549-556

Keywords: Instrumentalism, Anthropomorphic, Naturalism, Science, Theory, Practice and Environment

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Abstract:

This work sought to examine the implications of John Dewey’s instrumentalism on techno-scientific development. Instrumentalism is John Dewey’s aspect of pragmatism. Dewey’s idea of pragmatism is anthropomorphic naturalism. Anthropomorphic naturalism is an argument for a reconsideration of the place of man in the world through some adjustments in the practice of science. In the view of John Dewey, scientific findings have extended the confines of man as an end in itself. Dewey was convinced that there is a gap between the desire to improve man’s wellbeing through scientific discoveries and inventions and the commitment to ensure that these improvements do not consistently threaten the well being of man and his environment. This referred to as abysmal gap between the theory of science which focuses on the wellbeing of man and his environment, and the practice of science which ignores this wellbeing in the long term. Thus, a question deserves our attention: “Do we continue with this ‘pull’ to discover and invent, even to our own detriment while ignoring the evident fact that this ‘pull’, when not monitored by values and principles, portend danger for mankind as fictitiously represented in Frankenstein’s monster?” The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between the theory of science which focuses on the wellbeing of man and environment, and the practice of science which ignores this wellbeing in the long term. His idea of anthropomorphic naturalism draws attention to the need to integrate values into the practice of science. This work posits that Dewey’s pragmatic or humanistic naturalism offers a solution to the existing paradox of advancement for self harm or destruction.

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