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Dewey, Christopher

Index: El hombre en el umbral, El Aleph, OC,Obras completas. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1974. 612.

official of British Council in Buenos Aires, character in Borges story

Fishburn and Hughes: "A possible allusion to John Dewey (1859-1952), a leading pragmatist philosopher and exponent of 'instrumentalism'. This theory qualifies the traditional notion of 'truth', suggesting that propositions are to be judged not by whether what they describe is true but by their effectiveness. Instrumentalism could be illustrated by the tale told by the 'old man' to the narrator, whose value lies not in the truth of its content but in its effectiveness in delaying the investigation until justice is done. At the beginning of the final paragraph, when the tale has achieved its purpose, the whole event comes to an abrupt end and the narrator feels dismissed, as if he 'no longer existed'." (60)