This article approaches to study on the process of changing thoughts
and the characteristics of development in the thoughts according to
John Dewey's career, which is divided into three parts, the earlier
(1859-1888), the middle (1889-1930), and the later (1931-1952) parts.
First, the earlier part of developing process in his thoughts is
considered as the stage of formation in thinking. This period is the
results of many accumulated experiences during Dewey's childhood,
infinite intellectual inducements motivated by well-known previous
scholars, and his own academic cultivation and meeting with people of
various social experience. So this first period of the development in his
thoughts is regarded as a foundation stone to build his thinking.
Second, John Dewey was interested in the matters of philosophy,
democracy, education, and others during the middle period of his
career. He also revealed far more advancement in his academic and
practical fields than he did during the first period. He exerted a lot of
achievement in education and training of various academic areas
through practical activities on and off campus. So this period is
considered as the stage of development in his thoughts.
Third, for 22 years until he died at the age of 93 on June 1st, 1952
after his retirement from Columbia University, John Dewey had never
stopped devoting himself to active participation in social innovation
and educational renovation through academic activities, authorship, and
special lectures. It is true that he has had a great influence on
philosophy, aesthetics, education, laws, political theories, and social
sciences of the U.S.A. during the 20th century. This fact makes the
later period of his career the perfect completion of his idea and
learning for society.
Through the developing process of John Dewey's building
philosophical ideas and educational thoughts, we can realize that a
philosopher's formation of thinking is related to his own personal
inclination, sincere academic attitude, some advice from previous or
present thinkers, and active ability to put what he learned into action.
It can be also said that John Dewey's life and development of
philosophy shows an example of learning attitude and an opportunity
of reflection on today's learning depth to the later generation.