Influences of John Dewey Ideas on William Kelly

Influencesof John Dewey Ideas on William Kelly

Influencesof John Dewey Ideas on William Kelly

JohnDewey was both a philosopher and a psychologist who developed thetheory of pragmatism. William Kelly, on the other hand, developed theconstruct theory. There are two basic concepts found in Kelly’sconstruct theory that leads to a conclusion that Kelly was greatlyinfluenced by John Dewey when he was developing his personalconstruct theory. First, Kelly relied on Dewey’s view of theuniverse as an ongoing affair that has to be anticipated for it to beunderstood (Frager &amp Fadiman, 2013). This idea was originallyperceived by Dewey, but Kelly used them to develop the first twobasic principles guiding his personal construct theory. The firstprinciple states that people understand themselves and other peopleby first becoming aware of what they anticipate to happen in theirlives. The second principle states that anticipating things helps inthe construction of them, which is accomplished by looking at thingsthat are similar to what is anticipated. This implies that Kelleylearned the concept of anticipation from Dewey’s view of theuniverse.

Kellywas influenced by John Dewey to clearly and emphatically snub theidea of Cartesian dualism. The idea of Cartesian dualism partitions aperson’s process into different sections, such as emotion,cognition, and behavior. Dewey’s perspective subsumes thesedivisions into what he calls ‘action’ while Kelly includes theminto ‘construction’ (Frager &amp Fadiman, 2013). Dewey’intention was to develop an idea that children could put intopractice, which is close to the Kelly objective of developing aconcept of action and use. This culminated in a common view held bythe two theorists that human experiences are anticipatory. Inconclusion, Kelly was influenced by Dewey to develop a perspective ofaction and view human experiences as anticipatory in nature.


Frager,R., &amp Fadiman, J. (2013). Personalityand personal growth (7th ed.).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.