Human Nature and Conduct


HumanNature and Conduct

HumanNature and Conduct

JohnDewey is an American psychologist and philosopher, whose works stillinfluence the world. Dewey refuted the philosophy of dualisticepistemology and advocated for naturalistic perspective of knowledgethat it originates from environmental adaptation. In 1922, Dewey cameup with a philosophical work titled “HumanNature and Conduct: An Introduction to Social Psychology.” The texthighlights that the society influences intelligence, human nature,and knowledge acquisition. Dewey discloses the failure of somepsychological ideologies while describing how nature influences humanmorals and habits,

Dewey’s“” asserts that a stimuli influencesacquisition of knowledge and skills that consist of intelligentlydirecting native activities to acquire possibilities necessary forsolving problems (1922). Dewey asserts that the progressivebetterment of skills is achieved only through use of purposesdesigned by impulses of consciousness of the society. Purpose anddesire of satisfying necessities and willingness to learn significantknowledge demands for critical understanding of the influence ofemotional empresses such as habits versus the impulses of the youngcreative minds. Stimuli learning are devoid of knowledge since theexperience of the unpleasant shock without the insight of the purposeand cause only excites a reaction. Habits of the adult usuallyprovide no proof so that the impulses of the young minds canunderstand the purpose and goodness. Deviation from conceivedpatterns of regulation and conformity exist side by side with theunrestrained impulses of wildness and both influence thoughts and theprogress of attaining intelligence (Dewey, 1922). Impulses introducenew possibilities and solutions, but without the assurance ofproviding a steady reorganization of habits to effectively addressmoral problems.

Deweyclaims that alteration of human nature through exposure to infiniteperfections denies humanity the muscle to experience the impulses ofunlimited improvement through exposure to past challenges without apurist stance (1922). Heredity remains more potent in designing thehuman nature, which remains unalterable by any intent from theenvironment. Habits of thought and feeling are adamant to change andpersist once shaped regardless of the force of modification. Whilelaws and political institutions alter with time, popular humanthought patterns persist and resist radical changes. Revolutions andchanges in the society only take place once the social patterns ofthought have matured with intellectual tendencies accompanied bymoral maturity. Dewey (1922) quotes Aristotle’s concept thatslavery is imbedded in human nature since natural capacities empowersome to plan and supervise and others the ability to obey execute.Social institutions result as a product of the function of mutualinhibitions and reinforcements of both the dominant and weak forces.

Hergenhahn&amp Henley (2014) assert that Dewey introduced the concept ofexperiences that elicit avoidance without as a function of humanbehavior without a view of the function a habit plays. Therefore,alteration of human behavior fails as Dewey shows that elicitingavoidance without a purpose only creates a sequence of reactions thatare reproduced in a sequence. The Textbook’s view that behavior isa function of adapting to an environment is similar to Dewey’sapproach in “”. Similarly, Hergenhahn &ampHenley (2014) attribute to Dewey the concept of learning by doing asprogressive education in contrast to subject-oriented andmemorization as a basis of acquiring knowledge.

Hergenhahn&amp Henley (2014) categorize Dewey’s education concept as modeledby pragmatism, which only assesses beliefs based on the practicalsuccess. On the other hand, Dewey’s approach is broader andemphasized on training intelligences that create meaning and allowingimpulses of thought to manifest without alternation of human nature,a process that may obstruct the proper utilization of thoughtstimuli. As such pragmatism is consistent with a perfectionist approach that Dewey rejects as an inhibitor to presenting informationin raw form to allow students to customize solutions according tobackground information.


Dewey,J. (1922). Humannature and conduct. An introduction to social psychology.New York, NY: New York Henry Holt &amp Company.

Hergenhahn,B. R., &amp Henley, T. B. (2014). Anintroduction to the history of psychology.Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.