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The Grace and the Severity of the Ideal: John Dewey and the Transcendent


reviewed by David Granger — 2006

coverTitle: The Grace and the Severity of the Ideal: John Dewey and the Transcendent
Author(s): Victor Kestenbaum
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, Chicago
ISBN: 0226432165, Pages: 261, Year: 2002
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Of the revitalizing scholarship on Dewey that has emerged over the last thirty years or so, one of the more notable early contributions was Victor Kestenbaum’s fine book The Phenomenological Sense of John Dewey: Habit and Meaning (1977). It is no exaggeration to say that this book and its provocations helped set the tone for much of the succeeding writing on Dewey’s theory of habit and meaning, this theory being, by all accounts, a key entry point into Dewey’s philosophy. In this latest offering, consisting of a series of nine similarly themed essays (three of which have been published previously), Kestenbaum seeks to build on and extend that seminal work. He does so by scrupulously examining the nature and place of the transcendent in Dewey’s philosophy, early, middle, and late. In proceeding thus, Kestenbaum basically accepts the common belief that Dewey did not break completely with idealism in his professed... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 1, 2006, p. 141-146
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11880, Date Accessed: 3/30/2017 2:52:43 AM

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About the Author
  • David Granger
    SUNY Geneseo
    E-mail Author
    DAVID GRANGER is associate professor of education in the School of Education at SUNY Geneseo. His research, which focuses on Dewey studies and aesthetic education, has been published in Educational Theory, Studies in Philosophy and Education, The Journal of Aesthetic Education, The Journal of Curriculum Studies, and Educational Change, as well as several edited volumes. He recently completed a book on Deweyan aesthetic education.
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