This fortieth episode of the Philosophy Bakes Bread radio show and podcast features an interview with Dr. Larry A. Hickman, former Director of the Center for Dewey Studies at Southern Illinois University, talking with co-hosts Eric Weber and Anthony Cashio about John Dewey’s rich ideas about democracy and education, as well as what we can say about the state of each today.
Dr. Hickman is a prolific scholar, who has written on countless social issues from gay rights to school funding. He and his colleague Dr. Tom Alexander co-edited a two-volume set of some of the greatest resources available for studying Dewey’s philosophy, The Essential Dewey, Volumes 1 and 2. Larry also directed the Center for Dewey Studies for many years, obtaining grant after grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and creating an incredible set of digital resources collecting and digitizing Dewey’s works and the works of his contemporaries. In this episode, Larry presents some sobering concerns about the state of education in the United States today, as well as what that and other problems mean for democracy here.
Listen for our “You Tell Me!” questions and for some jokes in one of our concluding segments, called “Philosophunnies.” Reach out to us on Facebook @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter @PhilosophyBB; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; or call and record a voicemail that we play on the show, at 859.257.1849. Philosophy Bakes Bread is a production of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA). Check us out online at PhilosophyBakesBread.com and check out SOPHIA at PhilosophersInAmerica.com.
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- John Dewey’s New York Times obituary.
- John Dewey, Democracy and Education (New York: The Free Press, 1916/1997).
- G. W. F. Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977).
- Zachary Crockett, “The Case for More Traffic Roundabouts,” Priceonomics (September 18, 2015).
- Laurie Roberts, “Roberts: Am I Shocked by Senate President’s (continued) Self Dealing? Yep. And Nope.” The (AZ) Republic & The USA Today, March 6, 2017.
- Charles Murray, The Bell Curve (New York: The Free Press, 1996), the book that Larry argues we should have stopped paying attention to 20 years ago.
- SOPHIA won the American Philosophical Association / Philosophy Documentation Center Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs!
You Tell Me!
For our future “You Tell Me!” segments, Larry proposed the following question in this episode, for which we invite your feedback:
“I’ve got an answer to this question [in a breadcrumb coming soon], but I want to know yours:
‘What is the meaning of life?’”