John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and sociology. Dewey is one of the primary figures associated with the philosophy of pragmatism and is considered one of the fathers of functional psychology. A well-known public intellectual, he was also a major voice of progressive education and liberalism. Although Dewey is known best for his publications about education, he also wrote about many other topics, including epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, art, logic, social theory, and ethics. He was a major educational reformer for the 20th century.
The overriding theme of Dewey's works was his profound belief in democracy, be it in politics, education or communication and journalism. Dewey stated in 1888 that "Democracy is the one, ultimate, ethical ideal of humanity."
Known for his advocacy of democracy, Dewey considered two fundamental elements—schools and civil society—to be major topics needing attention and reconstruction to encourage experimental intelligence and plurality. Dewey asserted that complete democracy was to be obtained not just by extending voting rights but also by ensuring that there exists an informed public opinion, accomplished by communication among citizens, experts, and politicians, with the latter being accountable for the policies they adopt.
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