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Philosophical Roots of Education. Chapter 2. Branches of Philosophy: Metaphysics. Metaphysics: What is the nature of reality, what is real? What exists? Reality is permanent and unchanging (absolute) or dynamic and evolving (relative)

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Philosophical Roots of Education

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branches of philosophy metaphysics
Branches of Philosophy: Metaphysics
  • Metaphysics: What is the nature of reality, what is real? What exists?
  • Reality is permanent and unchanging (absolute) or dynamic and evolving (relative)
  • Reality…a priori, apart from human experience or a posteriori, only existing after and because we experience it
  • Idealism versus Realism
  • Basic human nature: good, bad, neutral
branches of philosophy epistemology
Branches of Philosophy: Epistemology
  • How do we know what is real? What is knowable?
  • Arriving at truth: authority, sensory experience, empiricism, logic, intuition, revelation
  • Knowledge by acquaintance…hands on sensory experience
  • Knowledge by description…through books, lecture, internet
branches of philosophy axiology
Branches of Philosophy: Axiology
  • What is of value?
  • Ethics…concerned with right conduct
  • Aesthetics…addresses standards of beauty
  • Are values absolute or relative?
branches of philosophy politics
Branches of Philosophy: Politics
  • Politics is concerned with justice, the allocation of power in society, between individuals and groups, the distribution of resources
  • Educational authority is either positional, rule-bound or anthropological (Benne)
traditional philosophies of education
Traditional Philosophies of Education
  • Idealism: the school as ivory tower, learning for its own sake, divorced from the workaday world
  • Reality lies in the mind. There is absolute truth. Truth pursued through logic. Deductive reasoning is best.
  • “All inquiry and all learning is but recollection.” (Plato)
  • Born with wisdom…our own reasoning
  • Hutchins and Adler: Great Books
  • Reality can be found in the world available to the senses
  • Through observation and orderly analysis we find common features, generalizations, rules
  • Careful study inductively leads to valid and better ideas
  • Aristotle: truth lays in reason based on systematic observation
  • Aristotle: The disorganized life is not worth living
  • Thomas Aquinas: From concrete observation to abstract conclusions
  • John Locke: tabula rasa, reason and good behavior develop from daily practice and good habits
  • Johann Pestalozzi: Nature is the best teacher…the natural universe is a guide to truth
  • Rousseau: Emile “Everything is good as it leaves the hands of the Author of things; everything degenerates in the hands of man.”