At the CIRCE conference, Andrew Kern discussed John Dewey’s essay “The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy.” Dewey said that Darwin showed that all of Western thought up to that point is worthless. This is because Darwin exploded the concept of “species.” In effect, Darwin maintained that species do not exist, since one changes into another. For Dewey, this not only pertained to animal species, but to the very thought forms that depended on species as a logical category ever since Plato. If there are no species, Dewey concluded, there can be no essences, no absolutes, and no fixed truths. According to Dewey, thinking now has to do only with adapting to your environment.
And on this basis, Dewey invented progressive education.