dewey_patterns of inquiry

what is the definition of the inquiry?

inquiry is the controlled or directed transformation of an indeterminate situation into one that is so determinate in its constituent distinctions and relations as to convert the elements of the original situation into a unified whole.

the antecedent conditions of inquiry:

1-the indeterminate situation

questionable..doubtful, obscure…

for nature is an environment only as it is involved in interaction with an organism, or self, or whatever name be used.

2- institution of a problem:

the indeterminate situation becomes problematic in the very process of being subjected to inquiry. the indeterminate situation comes into existence from existential causes, just as does, say the organic imbalance of hunger…to see that a situation requires inquiry is the initial step in inquiry.

it is but an initial step in institution of a problem.

a problem is not a task to be performed which a person puts upon himself or that is placed upon him by others. a problem represents the partial transformation by inquiry of a problematic situation into a determinate situation.

on the other hand, to set up a problem that does not grow out of an actual situation is to start on a course of dead work.

3.The determinate of a problem situation.

the determining of a genuine problem is a progressive inquiry.

ideas are anticipated consequences of what will happen when certain operations are executed under and with respect to observed conditions.

an idea is first of all an anticipation of something that may happen; it marks a possibility.

every idea originates a suggestion, but not every suggestion is an idea.

in logical fact, perceptual and conceptual materials are instituted in functional correlativity with each other, in such a manner that the former locates and describes the problem while the latter represents a possible method of solution. [p.111]

4. reasoning

the idea or meaning when developed in discourse directs the activities which, when executed, provide needed evidential material.

in many familiar situations, the meaning that is most relevant has been settled because of the eventuating of experiments in prior cases so that it is applicable almost immediately upon its occurrence.

5. the operational character of facts-meanings


inquiry is the directed or controlled transformation of an indeterminate situation into a determinately unified one. the transition is achieved by means of operations of two kinds which are in functional correspondence with each other.

one kind of operations deals with ideational or conceptual subject–matter. this subject matter stands for possible ways and ends of resolution. it anticipates a solution…
the other kind of operations is made up of activities involving the techniques and organs of observation.

symbols, defining terms and propositions are necessarily required in order to retain and carry forward both ideational and existential subject matters in order that they may sere their proper function in the control of inquiry. otherwise the problem is taken to be closed and inquiry ceased.

objects are objectives of inquiry.