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date: 29 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Dewey gradually abandoned the absolute idealism of his early period for what became his well-known philosophy of experience, his “cultural naturalism,” as he came to call it. During this development, he had to reconsider some very basic metaphysical commitments found not only in idealism but in many other metaphysical systems. The result was his development of a robust version of nonreductive naturalism that emphasized process and creative emergence. This essay does two things: (a) it traces the development of key themes in Dewey’s metaphysics prior to Experience and Nature (1925, revised 1929), and then (b) it focuses on that work as the culminating expression of his metaphysics, especially with regard to the “generic traits of existence.”

Keywords: Dewey, metaphysics, existence, experience, emergentism, nature, naturalism

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