Richard M. Gale is professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh and adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee. His recent major publications include On the Nature and Existence of God (1991), The Divided Self of William James (1999), and The Philosophy of William James: An Introduction (2004).
The Problem of Ineffability in Dewey's Theory of Inquiry
Article first published online: 2 MAR 2010
2006 The University of Memphis
The Southern Journal of Philosophy
Volume 44, Issue 1, pages 75–90, Spring 2006
How to Cite
Gale, R. M. (2006), The Problem of Ineffability in Dewey's Theory of Inquiry. The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 44: 75–90. doi: 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2006.tb00004.x
- Issue published online: 2 MAR 2010
- Article first published online: 2 MAR 2010
- Cited By
A Deweyan inquiry begins with an indeterminate situation and terminates, when successful, with a determinate situation, both of which Dewey holds to be unique and therefore ineffable. This ineffability requirement has the disastrous consequences that Dewey's beloved collective inquiry is impossible and that there are no objective criteria for the success of inquiry. It is found that Dewey's ineffability requirement results from his misbegotten attempt to aestheticize inquiry so that it is an act of artistic creation. It is suggested that things would go better if he dropped the ineffability requirement.