Situation and inquiry in Dewey

In a meeting this year, Angus Doulton remarked ‘the concept of situation is a deepy cybernetic one’. This resonated so strongly with my thinking and provided such a powerful set of concepts that I am currently trying to include it properly in my writing, and having a kind of crisis of discovery at how much good stuff there is in Dewey (and next post coming on Mead and Symbolic Interactionism). Mind blown…

Situation and inquiry For Dewey (1938/1991), situation is not something we enter into, nor does it exist independent of inquiry. It is a dialectical event of which we are participants, not spectators. We change a problematic situation and are changed in turn through our actions. In his classic reflex arc paper, Dewey (1896/1972) shows how under this view, conventional distinctions between organism and environment, stimulus and response, body and mind, or cause and effect need to be reconsidered.

Situation and inquiry – Chip’s journey

The Concept of “Situation” in John Dewey’s Logic and Philosophy of Science – Brown (evidently a draft, undated)

What Does Mr. Dewey Mean by an “Indeterminate Situation”?
D. S. Mackay
The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 39, No. 6 (Mar. 12, 1942), pp. 141-148

What is a Situation?
Tom Burke (2000)
Department of Philosophy
University of South Carolina

MEANS, ENDS AND MEDICAL CARE – Philosophy and Medicine, Vol 92

HG Wright (2007)