James and Dewey on Abstraction

The Pluralist 9 (2):1 (2014)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Reification is to abstraction as disease is to health. Whereas abstraction is singling out, symbolizing, and systematizing, reification is neglecting abstractive context, especially functional, historical, and analytical-level context. William James and John Dewey provide similar and nuanced arguments regarding the perils and promises of abstraction. They share an abstraction-reification account. The stages of abstraction and the concepts of “vicious abstractionism,” “/the/ psychologist’s fallacy,” and “the philosophic fallacy” in the works of these pragmatists are here analyzed in detail. For instance, in 1896 Dewey exposes various fallacies associated with reifying dualistic reflex arc theory. The conclusion prescribes treatments (pluralism and assumption archaeology) for de-reifying ill models (i.e., universalized, narrowed, and ontologized models) in contemporary scientific fields such as cognitive science and biology.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
WINJAD-3
Revision history
First archival date: 2015-11-21
Latest version: 7 (2015-11-21)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2013-12-17

Total views
1,914 ( #680 of 40,658 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
58 ( #9,481 of 40,658 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.