Malcolm P. Cutchin; Using Deweyan Philosophy To Rename and Reframe Adaptation-to-Environment. Am J Occup Ther 2004;58(3):303–312. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.58.3.303
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© 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association
John Dewey’s philosophy has been suggested as having been formative in the philosophy of occupational therapy, but the occupational therapy literature offers few analyses of Dewey’s work and its implications for the discipline. I offer an abbreviated analysis of Deweyan philosophy and then assess how adequately that philosophical corpus has been interpreted in the occupational therapy literature. My conclusion is that significant inconsistencies exist between a Deweyan perspective and selected concepts in occupational therapy. I take particular issue with the concept of adaptation-to-environment and specifically with aspects of that conceptualization that I term “environment as container,” “subjective–internalized focus,” and “mechanization of processes.” I offer an alternative concept, “place integration,” that is more consistent with Dewey’s philosophy. The advantages of the conceptual renaming and reframing are discussed.
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