What strikes me first in the Dewey passage is the vividness and specificity of his language. The "carding" of wool, the "trying" of fat, a whole world of natural processes and self-sufficiency for which we no longer have even the words. The passage helps explain, among many other things, the richness of Shakespeare's imagery. He lived the life Dewey is describing in which human beings actually made the things they used and understood, therefore, in a way we cannot, the material world around them and the properties of the objects in it, the weight of the cloth, sharpness of the tool, the density of this wood and the flexibility of that one. They saw and knew (knew and saw) the world they lived in, and their language for describing it was abundant, particular and precise.