Cultivating Intelligent Citizens: The Implication of Dewey’s Intelligence Concept for the Chinese Civic Education

Dongya CHENG, Xiuye GAO


“Intelligence” is the core concept of Dewey’s pragmatic philosophy. On the basis of his empirical philosophy, Dewey introduced the concept of intelligence. He believes that intelligence is the uttermost central moral character of a citizen. Promoting civic intelligence is the central task of the philosophy of education. Due to its unique social background, the lack of intelligence is one of the important factors that undermine the effect of civic education in China. Therefore, fully absorbing the essence and methodology of Dewey’s intelligence concept and introducing them to the Chinese civic education will crucially promote the development of Chinese civic education.


Intelligence; Civic education; Dewey

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Dewey, J. (1997). How we think (p.57). New York, YN: Dover Publication, Inc.

Dewey, J. (1958). Experience and nature (p.158). New York, NY: Dover Publication, Inc.

Frankena, W. K. (1961). The historical philosophies of education (pp.147-148). Scoot, Foresman and Company.

Gao, L. Y. (2011). Discourse on the practical dimension of “Intelligence” — Decoding the practicality of Dewey’s concept of intelligence. Philosophical Research, 2, 77.

Wang, W. L., & Huang, P. Q. (2008). Review and outlook of civic educational curriculum development in our country. Philosophy Research, 11(1), 45

Zalta, E. N. (Ed.). (2011). Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy: Civic education (p.46). the Winter.



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