Though the evidence does not support Dewey’s assertion that “we cannot permanently divest ourselves of our intellectual habits”, the main point he makes does hold true and is a cardinal principle in my life. Within our culture of intersectional racialized class, my cultivated naïveté is almost always interpreted as a lack of intelligence and education.
“An empirical philosophy is, in any case, a kind of intellectual disrobing. We cannot permanently divest ourselves of the intellectual habits we take on and wear when we assimilate the culture of our own time and place.
But intelligent furthering of culture demands that we take some of them off, that we inspect them critically to see what they are made of and what wearing them does to us.
We cannot achieve recovery of primitive naïveté. But there is attainable a cultivated naïveté of eye, ear and thought.”
― John Dewey