Below is an abstract for an article that I wrote. It concerns a problem in Dewey's theory of continuity. In short, every situation must be a problematic situation in some sense, else
There is a paradox at the heart of John Dewey's theory of experience. Every situation both is and is not a problematic situation. Experiencing a situation as problematic is a gestalt shift in the continuity of experience, a reorganization of present and emergent elements, that is not emergent ex nihilo. Since Deweyan naturalism excludes spontaneous causality, and continuity implies that everything has a natural history, the process of a problematic situation must be explained. I will account for the paradox, elucidate the process, and resolve a conundrum that results. The conundrum is, why is not every situation experienced as problematic, when logically every situation is problematic. The explanation includes a synoptic account of Dewey’s theory of experience that emphasizes its processive character as a natural history. I will also elucidate some implications for agency, intentionality, and the gestalt conditions for problematic experience.
In short, every situation must be a problematic situation in some sense, else a problematic situation emerges ex nihilo. The essay discusses in what way all situations must be "problematic" or contain a "felt difficulty." This has several implications. One, we can only attend to the "problematic" on Dewey's theory. Two, the emergent "problem" is also the genesis of intentionality; the object calls out our attention to it, though "object" does not have the usual denotation. Three, if "mind" is an event founded on a "conscious" event and then upon a bodily one, in what way is this event translated or encoded from environment, body, consciousness, and mind? That is, there is a continuous progression of events; what can be said of the event-structure given a Deweyan framework? I leave it to later work to compare this to contemporary articulations, e.g., Deacon, Varela, etc.