The Major Philosophies

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The Major Philosophies

  1. 1. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb, Metha, & Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. CHAPTER 3 The Major Philosophies
  2. 2. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.2 Overview of Chapter 3  Defining philosophy  Three branches of philosophy  Metaphysics, epistemology, and axiology  Traditional philosophies  Idealism, realism, and neo-theism  Contemporary philosophies  Pragmatism and existentialism  Analytic Philosophy
  3. 3. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.3 Defining Philosophy  “Study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence” New Oxford American Dictionary, 2005  Helps us better understand who we are, why we are here, and where we are going.  Educational philosophy helps define views about learners, teachers, and schools.  Major philosophies include idealism, realism, and theistic realism
  4. 4. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.4 Branches of Philosophy  Metaphysics – What is the nature of reality?  Epistemology – What is the nature of knowledge?  Axiology – What is the nature of values?
  5. 5. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.5 Metaphysics  One of the key concepts in understanding philosophies  Concerned with reality and existence  Asks: What is the nature of reality?  Subdivided into two categories  Ontology: what is the nature of existence  Cosmology: origin and organization of the universe
  6. 6. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.6 Epistemology  Raises questions about the nature of knowledge  Logic is a key dimension to epistemology  Deductive logic: from general to specific  Inductive logic: from specific facts to generalization
  7. 7. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.7 Axiology  Explores the nature of values  Ethics: study of human conduct and examines moral values  Aesthetics: values beauty, nature, and aesthetic experience (often associated with music, art, literature, dance, theater, and other fine arts)
  8. 8. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.8 Major Traditional Philosophy: Idealism Considered oldest philosophy of Western culture The world of mind, ideas and reason is primary  Metaphysics- stresses mind over matter (nothing is real except for an idea in the mind)  Epistemology- all knowledge includes a mental grasp of ideas and concepts  Axiology- values are rooted in reality Idealists believe that values can be classified and ordered into a hierarchy
  9. 9. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.9 Leading proponents of Idealism  Plato- Greek philosopher  Considered father of idealism  “Allegory of the Cave” from The Republic  Augustine- theologian of 4th & 5th centuries  Applied Plato’s assumptions to Christian thought  Descartes, Kant & Hegel  Descarte: “I think, therefore I am”  Kant: certain universal moral laws- categorical imperitives  Hegel: approached reality as “contest of opposites”
  10. 10. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.10 Major Traditional Philosophy: Realism The antithesis of Idealism Universe exists whether mind perceives it or not  Metaphysics- reality composed of matter (body) and form (mind)  Epistemology- sense realism (knowledge comes through senses)  Axiology- values derived from nature
  11. 11. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.11 Leading proponents of Realism  Aristotle- father of realism  Student of Plato  Argued that knowledge can be acquired through senses  Francis Bacon  Advanced a rigorous form of inductive reason  John Locke  Theory of tabula rasa (no such thing as innate ideas)  Comenius, Rousseau, and Pestalozzi
  12. 12. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.12 Major Traditional Philosophy: Neo-Thomism Dates to the time of Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Also known as theistic realism “God exists and can be known through faith and reason”  Metaphysics- God gives meaning to universe  Epistemology- hierarchy of knowing God  Axiology- unchanging moral laws
  13. 13. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.13 Contemporary Philosophies: Pragmatism Also known as experimentalism- experience or things that work Philosophy of 20th century developed by John Dewey  Metaphysics- regard reality as an event or process. Meaning is derived from experience in environment.  Epistemology- truth is not absolute but determined by consequences. Arrived at by inquiry, testing, questioning, retesting, ect.  Axiology- primarily focused on values. Determined by own experiences
  14. 14. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.14 Leading Proponents of Pragmatism Auguste Comte  Suggested science could solve social problems  Problem solving was key Charles Darwin  Theory of natural selection implied reality was open ended, not fixed Americans: Charles Pierce, William James and John Dewey
  15. 15. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.15 Contemporary Philosophies: Existentialism Appeared as a revolt against the mathematical, scientific philosophies that preceded it. Focused on personal and subjective existence  Metaphysics- no purpose or meaning to universe. No world order or natural scheme of things  Epistemology- we come to know truth by choice. The authority is found in self.  Axiology- choice to determine value.
  16. 16. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.16 Leading Proponents of Existentialism  Soren Kierkegaard  Danish philosopher/ theologian  Father of existentialism  Rejected scientific objectivity for subjectivity and choice  Martin Buber  Jewish philosopher/ theologian  “I/Thou” relationship- divine and human are related  Husserl and Heidegger  Jean- Paul Sartre  We construct our own existence
  17. 17. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.17 Other Proponents of Existentialism  Siberman & Kozol  Supporters of open schools, free schools, and alternative schools of 1960’s  Neill- Summerhill school  Nel Noddings  Educational model that includes caring
  18. 18. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.18 Analytic Philosophy  Sought out to clarify, and define philosophies  Began in post WWI era- Vienna Circle  Studied the alienation between philosophy and science  Established the concept of logical positivism: there are logical and empirical types of scientific expression  Shifted to Analytic philosophy in 1950’s  Analytic philosophy has recently focused on political philosophy, ethics and philosophy of human sciences
  19. 19. Foundations of American Education, 6th Edition Webb/Metha/Jordan © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.19 Review Questions for Chapter 3  What is a philosophy and why is it important for teachers?  Define the three branches of philosophy.  What is idealism and name a proponent of it?  What is realism and someone who supports it?  What is neo-Thomism and who is it named after?  What are two contemporary philosophies?  What are some key differences between the two contemporary philosophies?  Explain philosophic analysis.

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