On John Dewey read by Charlton Heston (1990)

Book coverWell, gentle reader, it has taken me several years and several tries to get through this particular volume of The Giants of Philosophy series. As you might recall, I listened to several volumes in 2021 and 2022, including:

I mean, those are giants of philosophy, for the most part, and innovative thinkers who challenged the paradigm of thought in their time, whereas Dewey was just the guy who took Pragmatism and turned it into the seeds of elitist destruction we see around us, where the credentialed “experts” should be in charge and should help usher those of us who are lesser than they to an atheist, relativistic, collective future.

It takes a very special hobgoblin of a mind to take uncertainty in thought and wed it to the certainty that some of the elevated thinkers should actually run things because, uh, their uncertainty is more pragmatic than the common person. He denies any objective reality aside from the interaction of people with the environment in their circumstances, and somehow derives a “better” that can be applied somehow to different circumstances, environment, and people, because Dewey somehow in his voluminous writings says so.

So, yeah. Not only is it rather administrative in its scope, but…. Well, no, that’s a good way to put it: Dewey would be the patron saint of adminstrators had they a religion of their own, but no. I agreed most with this course when Charlton Heston said Dewey’s critics would say that he is….. And he is, and I do.

So if you’re making a time machine and want to go back and take care of Hitler, if it’s all right, I’d like to borrow it and take care of Dewey. Ah, but it would not work: The communist infusion into university thought was not only the work of Dewey, and turning him so that he got rich making a New England brewery would only have delayed where we are today.

Still, after finally finishing this particular two cassettes (Only two! Which averages out almost to one whole cassette a year for my listening!) leaves me with two takeaways.

First, My youngest son had to listen to part of this series a couple weeks back when we were on the road to a conference in Arkansas, and he said, “John Dewey” in the fashion that the kids said “John Cena” when that was a thing several years ago, and I will forever say John Dewey in that fashion.

Secondly: I have really enjoyed this entries in this series. I don’t remember where I bought them–probably the Friends of the Springfield-Greene Library Book Sale some year or another–but they’re quicker listens than a full audio course, and as I’ve mentioned, having Charlton Heston read them is something. The voice acting now reminds me of the 1990s videocassette Richard the Lionheart–as these cassettes have different vocal actors for different thinkers, critics, and inspirations–sorry, where did I first apply the em dash?–but it’s slightly less distracting on audio cassette. But if I run into other entries in this series, I will pick them up, although the closer the subjects are to the twentieth century, the longer it will take me to listen to them. Unless, of course, they have a couple of cassettes on Ayn Rand. But they won’t.

At any rate, I’m fond of the series, but not of this particular spit philosopher.

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