Dewey and Russell on the Possibility of Immediate Knowledge

Studies in Philosophy and Education 17 (2/3):149-153 (1998)
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This paper compares Dewey's and Russell's views of "immediate knowledge." Dewey was perhaps mistaken in attributing to Russell the view that immediate sense data provide incorrigible foundations for knowledge. Russell's characterization of sensing plus attention as the most immediate knowing of which we have experience nevertheless remains a valid target of Dewey's criticisms. These two philosophers developed very different theories of logic and knowledge, language and experience. Given the reconstructed notions of experience and knowledge at the root of Dewey's logical theory, referring to knowledge as immediate or nearly immediate constitutes a serious category mistake.
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