Idealism in philosophy of education

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philosophy, exponents of idealism

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Idealism in philosophy of education

  1. 1. Idealism in Philosophy of Education REPORTER: LEVI S. OBIAS
  2. 2. Ideals  A standard by which we judge things in our existence.  “Ideals are the stars. You will not succeed in touching them with your hands. But like seafaring men on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them, you will reach your destiny.”_Carl Schurz  In philosophy, it applies to the theory that holds ideas as the only reality. Thus, “Idea-ism” might be a more correct descriptive term for the philosophy than Idealism.  It came into being as a correction of the view of naturalism.
  3. 3. Idealism vs. Naturalism IDEALISM  Emphasizes that the will governs one’s conduct  Judges behavior in terms of motives  Would say that the knowledge is obtained by speculation and reasoning NATURALISM  Says that one’s conduct is governed by impulse, instincts and experiences  Judges behavior on the basis of results  Would say that the end justifies the means  Regards scientific observation and scientific knowledge as final
  4. 4. The Development of Idealism (FROM ANCIENT TIMES)
  5. 5. PLATONIC IDEALISM (427-347 B. C.)  A Greek philosopher, who was remarkably equipped with natural endowments.  He became an ardent admirer and disciple of Socrates.  He opened up his own school, the Academy in Athens and there developed and expounded his doctrines as a teacher.  Two of his most famous works are “The Republic” and “The Dialogue.”  Plato did not think that man created knowledge. Rather, man discovered knowledge.
  6. 6. PLATONIC IDEALISM (427-347 B. C.)  “Intelligent people should be taken care of by the government next to the best school to be of greater service to the country.”  He suggested that the state take a very active role in educational matters; that both boys and girls should be given equal opportunity to develop themselves.  Those showing little abilities in mathematics go into pursuits which would assist them in the practical realities of life.  The function of education should be to determine that which by nature fits men into.
  7. 7. SAINT AUGUSTINE (354-430)  He lived in a crucial period in the history of Christianity.  In the war against heresies, he was a very powerful figure. His mother was a Christian but not his father. His conversion occurred when he was 32 years old.  Prior to that, he lived a life that was patterned after the typical life of Roman provincial of the times.  He was a very outstanding teacher of rhetoric.  He joined for a while the sect of Manicheans, a group who explained the universe through the dualistic doctrine of God and Satan engaged in a struggle to dominate the world.
  8. 8. SAINT AUGUSTINE (354-430)  Not content with their explanation, which troubled him, he turned to Greek philosophy and in particular to Neo- Platonism.  He rejected the doctrine of pantheistic conception that the human soul is part of the World soul.  He incorporated in his own theory of knowledge the Neo-Platonic doctrine that the ultimate in knowledge is a mystical intuition of the Supreme Reality, which only a few can experience.  He came later under the influence of Saint Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, who was instrumental in his conversion to Christianity.
  9. 9. SAINT AUGUSTINE (354-430)  The teaching of Augustine dominated Christian education and belief almost exclusively for more than nine centuries, after which the scholastic philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225- 1274) shared dominion with it.  He is the first Christian philosopher to formulate the doctrines of his religion in the most comprehensive and enduring manner.  The accomplishment of his task is facilitated by: (1) an effective assimilation of Greek philosophy to Christian belief of God, (2) the use of the Neo-Platonic idea of mediating function of the Logos the Cosmic Reason or Divine Word), in interpreting the role of Christ in the Holy Trinity, and
  10. 10. SAINT AUGUSTINE (354-430)  (3) the use of the Neo-Platonic definition of evil as absence of good in the resolution of the “problem of evil.”  His works are permeated by the gospel of love, which unifies and illuminates the Christian religion.  In loving God, Augustine tells us, we love truth. He also taught that one couldn’t obtain true knowledge without faith.  Thus, it is the duty of educators to enable students to be aware that the human struggle is to turn away from evil and seek the good.
  11. 11. Below are some of the basic tenets of Saint Augustine as applied to philosophy of education and moral philosophy:  Every educator must learn to wrestle with the problem of good and evil, which means how to reconcile the existence of evil in the world with the omnipotence and benevolence of God.  Every learner must be inspired by the educator to accept that the omnipotent God does will even in the permission of evil.  All people are themselves responsible for their own misfortunes; they are free to choose, and they choose evil.  Education for moral responsibility is the key concept of Augustinian philosophy.  Every educand must realize that supreme good and evil refer to eternity, not to the brief moment of this life.  When educator and learners appreciate the feebleness of unaided human reason, they see that faith, hope, and love are the fundamental virtues to be developed in schools.  Everyone earnestly desires peace, but the misdirected methods of the City of Man fail to achieve it.
  12. 12. The Development of Modern Idealism
  13. 13. RENE DESCARTES (1596-1650)  A French philosopher, mathematician and scientist  His philosophy became known as the Cartesian philosophy.  His basic proposition: I think, therefore I am.  He thought the world consisted of two kinds of substances: thinking substance (mind) and extended substance (matter)  He struggled with how mind and matter interacted.  He became the father of dualism insofar as he divided brain and mind into separate but equal parts.
  14. 14. BENEDICT DE ESPINOZA (1632-1677)  A Spanish Jew who lived in Holland.  He accepted Descartes’ idea that the universe is divided into mind and matter.  But he saw, that if mind and matter are separate substances, they cannot interact.  He held that people’s highest happiness consists in coming to understand and appreciate the truth and that they are tiny parts of an all-inclusive, pantheistic God. (Pantheism believes that all is God and God is all.)
  15. 15. GOTTRIED WILHELM von LEIBNIZ (1646-1716)  A German scholar, mathematician and philosopher  The characteristic aspect of his philosophy is his concept of monadism (Monadology or Leibnizianism). In his philosophy, each person or thing is a monad (a completely separate being) whose existence is in harmony with God and is separate from outer experience.  According to him, there are dofferent monads: simple, complex (soul), and more complex type of monad (spirit). God is the monad of the last type according to him.
  16. 16. GEORGE BERKELEY (1646-1716)  He spent most of his professional life as a minister.  As an Anglican Bishop and philosopher, he was a deeply religious man who tied to reconcile the science of his day with the doctrines of Christianity.  His 2 prime doctrines are: “To be is to be perceived;”and this being the character of knowledge, the necessary subratum of the objective world is revealed to the Spirit, Infinite Mind, God.  Things exist even when nobody is perceiving them because they are being thought about by God.
  17. 17. IMMANUEL KANT (1724-1804)  Some of the ethical values of idealism that he mentioned are: 1. There are universal, moral laws. 2. Man has a feeling of obligation to act in obedience to these moral laws. 3. It is possible for an individual to act purely out of desire or intention to do good, to fulfill the moral law. 4. The immortality of the soul. 5. Belief in the existence of God. God is your ought – the motivating factor.
  18. 18. GEORGE HEGEL (1770-1831)  In 1818, he became a professor of philosophy at the University of Berlin and there became a prominent and an overriding figure in philosophy.  Three major aspects of his system are logic, nature, and spirit.  This system led some of Hegel’s followers to believe in foreordained destiny in the face of which individuals are mere parts of the greater, more complete and unified whole – the state.  The word “dialectic” best fits Hegel’s logic. The all-inclusive Hegelian triad is 1. Thesis – ideas 2. Antithesis – otherness of the ideas 3. Synthesis – Mind or Spirit
  19. 19. A Systematic Synthesis of the Philosophy of Idealism
  20. 20. THE METAPHYSICS OF IDEALISM  The self is the prime reality of individual experience.  The ultimate reality is self.  Ultimate reality may be oneself, a community of selves, or a universal self within whom are many individual selves.  Evil as it exists is the negation of value  The individual self has all the freedom essential to self-determination. It does not mean that we have the freedom to do whatever we please, without limits. An individual is a part and not the whole of reality. Self-determination might be a more exact term to use than freedom.
  21. 21. THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF IDEALISM  Idealism and critical realism are alike in their treatment of perception except that idealism holds that the qualities we perceive in the world are rooted in existence.  Berkeley insisted that the character of the world as we experience it depends so much upon the mind, that there is no such thing that exists without someone perceiving it. Kant, Fichte, and Hegel advocated a similar idea.  Some idealists hold that we have direct experience of the self, that it is a self- evident fact; others find the existence of self to be a necessary inference.  Selfhood, being what it is, and the world being so well-tuned to the experience of self, is believed by idealists. Also, reality is a self.  Since nothing can be conceived to exist without being in relation to other things, many idealists believe reality to be a logically unified total system, a universal mind.
  22. 22. THE LOGIC OF IDEALISM  The material of logic comes from our social experience. Two main sources of such truths are the everyday knowledge of men and the accurate knowledge by the various sciences.  The idealist believes that the truths we believes that the truths we believe in must support and reinforce one another.  From the idealist point of view, the growth and development of knowledge, whether in the individual mind or in the experience of the race, is a matter of extending vision so that individuals and classes are seen in their larger and more complete relationships.
  23. 23. THE AXIOLOGY OF IDEALISM  The values human beings desire and enjoy are fundamentally rooted in existence. They are real existents.  The values of human life are what they are largely because they are individual persons to possess and enjoy them.  One important way in which individual persons can realize value is by precisely relating parts and wholes.
  24. 24. SYNTHESIS AND IMPLICATIONS ON KNOWLEDGE AND EDUCATION  Man can arrive at the truth only by an examination of his own innate ideas and by testing their consistency. - Plato, Leibniz and Hegel  The ultimate aim of education is the happiness of the individual and welfare of the state. – Plato  Individuals are to be educated according to their social level and intellectual ability. – Plato  The self gives meaning and unity into the objective world. – Kant and Berkeley  By relating parts and wholes, value and meaning are obtained. - Hegel
  25. 25. SYNTHESIS AND IMPLICATIONS On the Human Self  The self is the prime reality in the person’s consciousness. – Berkeley and Kant  The human self has freedom of the will. – Kant and Leibniz  Consciousness is a primary datum of human experience. – Descartes  As a thinking being, man is part of God. – Spinoza  In that they are spirits, human selves are similar to God; in that they are finite, they are unlike him. - Leibniz  Idealism is monistic in its view. The dualism between God and the world is overcome by the doctrine of divine immanence which often leads to pantheism, the doctrine that God and the world is one.
  26. 26. SYNTHESIS AND IMPLICATIONS  In idealism, the aim of education is to discover and develop each individual's abilities and full moral excellence in order to better serve society. The curricular emphasis is subject matter of mind: literature, history, philosophy, and religion. Teaching methods focus on handling ideas through lecture, discussion, and Socratic dialogue (a method of teaching that uses questioning to help students discover and clarify knowledge). Introspection, intuition, insight, and whole-part logic are used to bring to consciousness the forms or concepts which are latent in the mind. Character is developed through imitating examples and heroes.

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