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Eric David McCormack
Frederick Matthias Alexander and John Dewey
A Neglected Influence
Paperback. 1958 (1992: 172 pages. 2014: 234 pages).
Published by Mouritz (UK, 2014). Alex Murray (USA, 1992). 1958 thesis first published in 1992.
ISBN 978-0956849816.
Status: In print. Publisher website www.mouritz.co.uk
First published 1 January 1958
Mouritz description
John Dewey said in 1939: ‘My theories of mind-body, of the co-ordination of the elements of the self and of the place of the ideas in inhibition and control of overt action required contact with the work of F. M. Alexander and in later years his brother, A.R., to transform them into realities.’ This 1958 Ph. D. thesis examines the influence Alexander had on John Dewey. It introduces the Technique and its history and relates the history of Alexander and Dewey’s friendship. It describes Dewey’s philosophical turning-point which took place in the period of their first meetings. A detailed comparison is made between MSI and Dewey’s Human Nature and Conduct, and Alexander’s influence is shown in several of Dewey’s other works.
[Mouritz 2014 edition description]
My theories of mind-body, of the co-ordination of the active elements of the self and of the place of ideas in inhibition and control of overt action required contact with the work of F. M. Alexander and in later years his brother, A.R., to transform them into realities.
John Dewey

John Dewey (1859?1952) was America?s most eminent philosopher and educational reformer whose ideas continue to inspire educationalists all over the world. Despite Dewey?s lifelong endorsement of the Alexander Technique the extent of the impact by Alexander on Dewey?s thought has either been misunderstood or has not been appreciated. This neglected influence is fully examined in McCormack?s classic thesis from 1958.
McCormack?s thesis points out how fundamental concepts in Dewey?s philosophy are directly related to his experience of the Alexander Technique. Concepts such as ?meaning?, ?knowledge?, ?habit?, and ?character? may only be fully understood in the context of the Technique. More importantly, it demonstrates the pragmatism which underlies Dewey?s philosophy, and clarifies his process-oriented approach to knowledge based on concrete experiences which can be tested and replicated.
The three appendices further illustrate the relationship between Dewey and Alexander: ?A Sick World? by John Dewey; ?John Dewey and F. Matthias Alexander? by C. M. Turbayne; and ?John Dewey and F. M. Alexander ? 36 Years of Friendship? by Alexander Murray.
[Eric McCormack?s] study provides a completely new perspective on Dewey?s thought; with such a perspective, philosophers could no longer in good conscience speak or write condescendingly of the Dewey?Alexander relationship; McCormack establishes that Alexander?s influence clearly pervades Dewey?s work.
Jo Ann Boydston, Editor of The Collected Works of John Dewey
Later editions
A 140 pages scanned version of the original typescript was published by General Press in 2010 (print on demand paperback), but is of so poor quality as to be unreadable. Out of print. 228 x 152 mm. ISBN 978-1178709018.
A 540 pages scanned version of the original typescript published by Nabu Press (USA) in 2011. There is only text on the left-hand page (the right being blank), so it is only 270 pages of text. Print on demand paperback. Some pages are very faint. 240 x 191 mm. ISBN 9781178709018.
234 pages. (Mouritz, UK). 2014. ISBN 9780956849816. Published as A Neglected Influence with three additional articles by John Dewey, C. M. Turbayne; and Alexander Murray.

Earliest publication date: 1 January 1958