Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Alexander, Thomas


My thesis is an attempt to show the brilliance and novelty of John Dewey's theory of knowledge, instrumentalism. The main objective of my thesis is to explain Dewey's theory of knowledge, which he coined instrumentalism, and to describe how instrumentalism as a theory of knowledge overcomes the pitfalls of competing theories within the philosophical tradition. Dewey's theory of instrumentalism does not assume that ideas are mental entities nor that ideas are true if they somehow match or fit with the object in question; thus, Dewey's theory presents a different view opposed to what we have usually called coherence, or correspondence theories of knowledge. Dewey also argued that consciousness and thinking are functions of a complex organism in transaction with its environment and thus consciousness is an instrumentality not a thing-in-itself.




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