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Joseph Ratner papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description


Manuscripts, Research, and Lecture Notes

Published Material

Joseph Ratner papers, 1862-1978 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: Joseph Ratner papers, 1862-1978Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: 1/2/MSS 142

Primary Creator: Ratner, Joseph, (1901-)

Other Creators: Dewey, John (1859-1952)

Extent: 68.0 Boxes. More info below.

Arrangement: Arranged in three series: (1) Correspondence; (2) Manuscripts, Research, and Lecture Notes; and (3) Published Material.

Date Acquired: 00/00/1979

Subjects: Dewey, John, 1859-1952, Philosophy, American - 20th century, Ratner, Joseph, 1901-, Religion

Forms of Material: Correspondence., Manuscripts for publication., Ratner, Joseph, 1901- - Correspondence

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The extant papers of Joseph Ratner reflect the range of his scholarship in philosophy, religion, politics, and particularly his interest in the work of John Dewey.  The papers include Ratner's extensive professional and personal correspondence with Dewey, other Dewey letters collected for his intended but uncompleted biography of Dewey, and manuscripts and lecture notes by both men.

Biographical Note

Joseph Ratner was born in London in 1901.  His family left England in 1904 and settled in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  After completing his Bachelor of Arts degree at City College of New York in 1922 and his M.A. at Columbia University in 1923, he was granted a Moral Science Fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge University (1924-1925).  In 1926, he returned to the United States and served as a Lecturer in the Philosophy Department at Columbia University.  In 1930, he received his Ph.D. from Columbia; at various times he taught at the New School for Social Research.  He also served as an assistant editor to the Encyclopedia of Social Sciences.  From 1940 to 1945 he worked as an instructor at City College, New York.

During his doctoral studies at Columbia, Ratner met John Dewey and served as his teaching assistant.  Their friendship lasted until Dewey's death in 1952.  In addition to writing several books on Spinoza, Albert Camus, and Reinhold Niebuhr, Ratner edited a number of works by Dewey: The Philosophy of John Dewey (1928); Characters and Events (1929); Intelligence in the Modern World (1930), introduction by Ratner; Education Today (1940), foreword by Ratner; and Philosophy, Psychology, and Social Practice (1963), foreword by Ratner.  These collections, along with Ratner's introductions, several of which have been widely translated, have helped scholars develop a more comprehensive view of John Dewey's philosophy.  In 1944 Ratner started traveling to do research for a biography of Dewey, for which he collected a great deal of material, but never completed.  Joseph Ratner died at his New York City home on May 22, 1979 at the age of 78.

Subject/Index Terms

Dewey, John, 1859-1952
Philosophy, American - 20th century
Ratner, Joseph, 1901-

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Alternate Extent Statement: 66 boxes, 1 oversize box, 2 boxes of pamphlet material, 11 free standing volumes

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Acquisition Method: Special Collections acquired the Joseph Ratner Papers from the Joseph Ratner estate in 1979.  A small portion of the papers was purchased from the Lion Heart Autographs in 1980.

Related Materials: John Dewey papers.

Preferred Citation: [Item], Joseph Ratner papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Manuscripts, Research, and Lecture Notes],
[Series 3: Published Material],

Series 3: Published MaterialAdd to your cart.View associated digital content.

The third series, Published Material, is arranged into three sub-series: Ratner’s Publications, which are primarily book reviews of such authors as T. S. Eliot (The Idea of Christianity), R. B. Perry (Our Side is Right), James Myers (Do You Know Labor?), John Dewey (The Bertrand Russell Case) and Alfred N. Whitehead (Symbolism, Its Meaning and Effect); Dewey’s Published Works, arranged chronologically, cover the years from 1882 to 1948 and deal primarily with his philosophical and educational theories; a number of articles pertain to pressing political and social issues of that time. Among these are his first published articles in the Journal of Speculative Philosophy in 1882. The last sub-series contains chronologically arranged publications, (1897-1951) by such writers as A. Barnes, E. Blake, and W. Cannon, and deal with various philosophical, religious, educational, and political concerns. Most of these articles are annotated by Ratner.

For a list of individual titles in this series see the associated digital content documents.

Sub-Series 1: RatnerAdd to your cart.
Box 57Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Book reviewsAdd to your cart.
Ratner's The Philosophy of John Dewey, 1928, 1929, 1931
Folder 2: An Open Letter to Mr. Alfred E. SmithAdd to your cart.
The Commonweal, March 27, 1929
Folder 3: Book reviewsAdd to your cart.
Ratner edited Characters and Events, 1929, 1930
Folder 4: Book reviewsAdd to your cart.
"Some Comments on Rosen's 'Calvin's Attitude Toward Copernicus'"
Folder 5: Book reviewsAdd to your cart.
By Joseph Ratner, 1940, 1942, 1947
Folder 6: "Education for What New Order?"Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 2: DeweyAdd to your cart.
Box 57Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Dewey articles, 1882-1896Add to your cart.
Box 58Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Dewey articles, 1898-1944Add to your cart.
Box 59Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Dewey articles, 1944-1960Add to your cart.
Box 60Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Dewey related articles, (includes correspondence and other material related to Trotsky trial), 1890-1953Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 3: Miscellaneous Dewey related publicationsAdd to your cart.
Box 60Add to your cart.
Folder 30: Theses for Round Table  DiscussionsAdd to your cart.
Department of Pedagogy, The University of Chicago, 1897
Folder 31: The Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, 1911Add to your cart.
Folder 32: Charts of Comparative Philosophy and TheologyAdd to your cart.
By R, Nelson, Phillips University Bulletin, 1916.
Folder 33: The Greatest Obstacle to PeaceAdd to your cart.
In Federal Council Bulletin, 1924 (annotations by Joseph Ratner)
Folder 34: Bar to WarAdd to your cart.
In The Christian Science Monitor, 1936
Folder 35: Mr. Justice RobertsAdd to your cart.
In The United States Law Week, 1940.
Folder 36: The Development of Rationalism and EmpircismAdd to your cart.
In International Encyclopedia of Unified Science, 1941
Box 61Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Miscellaneous publications, 1941-1951Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 4: Oversize Dewey related publicationsAdd to your cart.
Box 62Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Miscellaneous publications, 1884-1945Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Manuscripts, Research, and Lecture Notes],
[Series 3: Published Material],

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