Preview: • Three legendary figures of classical philosophy: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle • Subdivisions of philosophy with particular significance to education: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics, and logic • Fundamental educational philosophies: essentialism, progressivism, perennialism, existentialism, behaviorism
Philosophy, love of wisdom • Students of philosophy attempt to uncover profound truths. • Study of philosophy builds various qualities: 1- Ability to think deeply and analytically 2- Ability to uncover interrelationships among different academic subjects 3- A sense of wonder that accompanies serious thinking about questions facing human kind
Three figures of Classical PhilosophyAthens 5th century .b.c. • Socrates(469-399 .B.C.) • Personification of wisdom and philosophical life. • Walked about Athens engaging people in provocative dialogues about ultimate significance. His goal was to help others find the truths that lie within their own mind. • Socratic Method: The teacher repeatedly questions students to help them clarify their own deepest thoughts. • Noble Death, was sentenced to death for impiety (poisonous hemlock).
Plato (427-347 .B.C.) • Socrates’ pupil who founded the Academy, known as world’s first university. • His writing is known for its depth, beauty and clarity. Dialogues, his most famous works, are the presentation of different philosophical positions on a number of profound questions. • Associated with the doctrine that a realm of externally existing “ideas” or “forms” underlies the physical world. • In his philosophy, human soul has three parts which interact to determine human behavior; intellect (reason), spirit (passion) and appetite (basic animal desires). • “Parable of the Cave”, vision of utopia, where an elite group of philosopher-kings rule over others.
Aristotle (384-322 .B.C.) • Plato’s pupil for 20 years. • Teacher of Alexander the Great • Remarkable for the depth and breadth of his knowledge. • Provided a synthesis of Plato’s belief in the universal , spiritual forms and a scientists belief in the physical world we observe through our senses. • Also known for his ethical and political theories. • Promoted the doctrine of the Golden Mean.
Branches of Philosophy Metaphysics What is real? Philosophy Epistemology How do we know? Ethics What is of value? Logic How do we reason? Aesthetics What is beauty? Political Philosophy How should societies be governed?
Essentialism Key Educator: William Bagley
Progressivism Key Educator: John Dewey
Perennialism Key Educators: Robert Hutchins & Mortimer Adler
Existentialism Key Educator: A.S. Neill
Behaviorism Key Educator: B.F. Skinner