ASSIGNMENT No: 1& 2
Philosophy of Education (8609) B.Ed 1.5 Years
AIOU Solved Assignments 1& 2 Code 8609 Spring 2020
Q 01- Define Philosophy of education and discusses its scope?
Philosophy means “love of wisdom.” It is made up of two Greek words, philo, meaning love, and sophos, meaning wisdom. Philosophy helps teachers to reflect on key issues and concepts in education, usually through such questions as: What is being educated? What is the good life? What is knowledge? What is the nature of learning? And What is teaching? Philosophers think about the meaning of things and interpretation of that meaning. Even simple statements, such as “What should be learned? Or What is adolescence?” set up raging debates that can have major implications. For example, what happens if an adolescent commits a serious crime? One interpretation may hide another. If such a young person is treated as an adult criminal, what does it say about justice, childhood, and the like? Or if the adolescent is treated as a child, what does it say about society’s views on crime?
Your educational philosophy is your beliefs about why, what and how you teach, whom you teach, and about the nature of learning. It is a set of principles that guides professional action through the events and issues teachers face daily. Sources for your educational philosophy are your life experiences, your values, the environment in which you live, interactions with others and awareness of philosophical approaches. Learning about the branches of philosophy, philosophical world views, and different educational philosophies and theories will help you to determine and shape your own educational philosophy, combined with these other aspects.
When you examine a philosophy different from your own, it helps you to “wrestle” with your own thinking. Sometimes this means you may change your mind. Other times, it may strengthen your viewpoint; or, you may be eclectic, selecting what seems best from different philosophies. But in eclecticism, there is a danger of sloppy and inconsistent thinking, especially if you borrow a bit of one philosophy and stir in some of another. If serious thought has gone into selection of strategies, theories, or philosophies, this is less problematic. For example, you may determine that you have to vary your approach depending on the particular learning needs and styles of a given student. At various time periods, one philosophical framework may become favored over another. For example, the Progressive movement led to quite different approaches in education in the 1930s. But there is always danger in one “best or only” philosophy. In a pluralistic society, a variety of views are needed.
Four General or World Philosophies
The term metaphysics literally means “beyond the physical.” This area of philosophy focuses on the nature of reality. Metaphysics attempts to find unity across the domains of experience and thought. At the metaphysical level, there are four* broad philosophical schools of thought that apply to education today. They are idealism, realism, pragmatism (sometimes called experientialism), and existentialism. Each will be explained shortly. These four general frameworks provide the root or base from which the various educational philosophies are derived.
A fifth metaphysical school of thought, called Scholasticism, is largely applied in Roman Catholic schools in the educational philosophy called “Thomism.” It combines idealist and realist philosophies in a framework that harmonized the ideas of Aristotle, the realist, with idealist notions of truth. Thomas Aquinas, 1255-127, was the theologian who wrote “Summa Theologica,” formalizing church doctrine. The Scholasticism movement encouraged the logical and philosophical study of the beliefs of the church, legitimizing scientific inquiry within a religious framework.
Two of these general or world philosophies, idealism and realism, are derived from the ancient Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristotle. Two are more contemporary, pragmatism and existentialism. However, educators who share one of these distinct sets of beliefs about the nature of reality presently apply each of these world philosophies in successful classrooms. Let us explore each of these metaphysical schools of thought.
Idealism is a philosophical approach that has as its central tenet that ideas are the only true reality, the only thing worth knowing. In a search for truth, beauty, and justice that is enduring and everlasting, the focus is on conscious reasoning in the mind. Plato, father of Idealism, espoused this view about 400 years BC, in his famous book, The Republic. Plato believed that there are two worlds. The first is the spiritual or mental world, which is eternal, permanent, orderly, regular, and universal. There is also the world of appearance, the world experienced through sight, touch, smell, taste, and sound, that is changing, imperfect, and disorderly. This division is often referred to as the duality of mind and body. Reacting against what he perceived as too much of a focus on the immediacy of the physical and sensory world, Plato described a utopian society in which “education to body and soul all the beauty and perfection of which they are capable” as an ideal. In his allegory of the cave, the shadows of the sensory world must be overcome with the light of reason or universal truth. To understand truth, one must pursue knowledge and identify with the Absolute Mind. Plato also believed that the soul is fully formed prior to birth and is perfect and at one with the Universal Being. The birth process checks this perfection, so education requires bringing latent ideas (fully formed concepts) to consciousness.
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.
Realists believe that reality exists independent of the human mind. The ultimate reality is the world of physical objects. The focus is on the body/objects. Truth is objective-what can be observed. Aristotle, a student of Plato who broke with his mentor’s idealist philosophy, is called the father of both Realism and the scientific method. In this metaphysical view, the aim is to understand objective reality through “the diligent and unsparing scrutiny of all observable data.” Aristotle believed that to understand an object, its ultimate form had to be understood, which does not change. For example, a rose exists whether or not a person is aware of it. A rose can exist in the mind without being physically present, but ultimately, the rose shares properties with all other roses and flowers (its form), although one rose may be red and another peach colored. Aristotle also was the first to teach logic as a formal discipline in order to be able to reason about physical events and aspects. The exercise of rational thought is viewed as the ultimate purpose for humankind. The Realist curriculum emphasizes the subject matter of the physical world, particularly science and mathematics. The teacher organizes and presents content systematically within a discipline, demonstrating use of criteria in making decisions. Teaching methods focus on mastery of facts and basic skills through demonstration and recitation. Students must also demonstrate the ability to think critically and scientifically, using observation and experimentation. Curriculum should be scientifically approached, standardized, and distinct-discipline based. Character is developed through training in the rules of conduct.
For pragmatists, only those things that are experienced or observed are real. In this late 19th century American philosophy, the focus is on the reality of experience. Unlike the Realists and Rationalists, Pragmatists believe that reality is constantly changing and that we learn best through applying our experiences and thoughts to problems, as they arise. The universe is dynamic and evolving, a “becoming” view of the world. There is no absolute and unchanging truth, but rather, truth is what works. Pragmatism is derived from the teaching of Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), who believed that thought must produce action, rather than linger in the mind and lead to indecisiveness.
John Dewey (1859-1952) applied pragmatist philosophy in his progressive approaches. He believed that learners must adapt to each other and to their environment. Schools should emphasize the subject matter of social experience. All learning is dependent on the context of place, time, and circumstance. Different cultural and ethnic groups learn to work cooperatively and contribute to a democratic society. The ultimate purpose is the creation of a new social order. Character development is based on making group decisions in light of consequences.
For Pragmatists, teaching methods focus on hands-on problem solving, experimenting, and projects, often having students work in groups. Curriculum should bring the disciplines together to focus on solving problems in an interdisciplinary way. Rather than passing down organized bodies of knowledge to new learners, Pragmatists believe that learners should apply their knowledge to real situations through experimental inquiry. This prepares students for citizenship, daily living, and future careers.
The nature of reality for Existentialists is subjective, and lies within the individual. The physical world has no inherent meaning outside of human existence. Individual choice and individual standards rather than external standards are central. Existence comes before any definition of what we are. We define ourselves in relationship to that existence by the choices we make. We should not accept anyone else’s predetermined philosophical system; rather, we must take responsibility for deciding who we are. The focus is on freedom, the development of authentic individuals, as we make meaning of our lives.
There are several different orientations within the existentialist philosophy. Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), a Danish minister and philosopher, is considered to be the founder of existentialism. His was a Christian orientation. Another group of existentialists, largely European, believes that we must recognize the finiteness of our lives on this small and fragile planet, rather than believing in salvation through God. Our existence is not guaranteed in an after life, so there is tension about life and the certainty of death, of hope or despair. Unlike the more austere European approaches where the universe is seen as meaningless when faced with the certainty of the end of existence, American existentialists have focused more on human potential and the quest for personal meaning. Values clarification is an outgrowth of this movement. Following the bleak period of World War II, the French philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre, suggested that for youth, the existential moment arises when young persons realize for the first time that choice is theirs, that they are responsible for themselves. Their question becomes “Who am I and what should I do?
Related to education, the subject matter of existentialist classrooms should be a matter of personal choice. Teachers view the individual as an entity within a social context in which the learner must confront others’ views to clarify his or her own. Character development emphasizes individual responsibility for decisions. Real answers come from within the individual, not from outside authority. Examining life through authentic thinking involves students in genuine learning experiences. Existentialists are opposed to thinking about students as objects to be measured, tracked, or standardized. Such educators want the educational experience to focus on creating opportunities for self-direction and self actualization. They start with the student, rather than on curriculum content.
AIOU Solved Assignments 1& 2 Code 8609 Spring 2020
Q 02- Discuss BRANCHES of PHILOSOPHY?
Branches of Philosophy
There are three major branches of philosophy. Each branch focuses on a different aspect and is central to your teaching. The three branches and their sub-branches are:
|Branch||Metaphysics: What is the nature of reality?||Epistemology: What is the nature of knowledge? How do we come to know?||Axiology: What values should one live by?|
|Educational Examples||–Do you think human beings are basically good or evil?
–What are conservative or liberal beliefs?
|–How would an anthropologist look at this classroom? A political scientist? A biologist?
–How do we know what a child knows?
|–Is morality defined by our actions, or by what is in our hearts?
–What values should be taught in character education?
What issues are related to nature, existence, or being? Is a child inherently evil or good? How might your view determine your classroom management?
What is the nature and origin of the cosmos or universe? Is the world and universe orderly or is it marked by chaos? What would one or the other mean for a classroom?
|Knowing based on:
–Senses and Feelings
–From authority or divinity
–Reasoning or Logic
What reasoning processes yield valid conclusions?
–Deductive: reasoning from the general to the particular All children can learn. Bret is a fifth grader. He has a learning disability. Can Bret learn?
–Inductive: reasoning from the specific to the general. After experimenting with plant growth under varied conditions, stu-dents conclude plants need water and light
What is good and evil, right and wrong?
Is it ever right to take something that does not belong to you?
What is beautiful?
How do we recognize a great piece of music? Art?
Can there be beauty in destruction?
Within the epistemological frame that focuses on the nature of knowledge and how we come to know, there are four major educational philosophies, each related to one or more of the general or world philosophies just discussed. These educational philosophical approaches are currently used in classrooms the world over. They are Perennialism, Essentialism, Progressivism, and Reconstructionism. These educational philosophies focus heavily on WHAT we should teach, the curriculum aspect.
For Perennialists, the aim of education is to ensure that students acquire understandings about the great ideas of Western civilization. These ideas have the potential for solving problems in any era. The focus is to teach ideas that are everlasting, to seek enduring truths which are constant, not changing, as the natural and human worlds at their most essential level, do not change. Teaching these unchanging principles is critical. Humans are rational beings, and their minds need to be developed. Thus, cultivation of the intellect is the highest priority in a worthwhile education. The demanding curriculum focuses on attaining cultural literacy, stressing students’ growth in enduring disciplines. The loftiest accomplishments of humankind are emphasized– the great works of literature and art, the laws or principles of science. Advocates of this educational philosophy are Robert Maynard Hutchins who developed a Great Books program in 1963 and Mortimer Adler, who further developed this curriculum based on 100 great books of western civilization.
Essentialists believe that there is a common core of knowledge that needs to be transmitted to students in a systematic, disciplined way. The emphasis in this conservative perspective is on intellectual and moral standards that schools should teach. The core of the curriculum is essential knowledge and skills and academic rigor. Although this educational philosophy is similar in some ways to Perennialism, Essentialists accept the idea that this core curriculum may change. Schooling should be practical, preparing students to become valuable members of society. It should focus on facts-the objective reality out there–and “the basics,” training students to read, write, speak, and compute clearly and logically. Schools should not try to set or influence policies. Students should be taught hard work, respect for authority, and discipline. Teachers are to help students keep their non-productive instincts in check, such as aggression or mindlessness. This approach was in reaction to progressivist approaches prevalent in the 1920s and 30s. William Bagley, took progressivist approaches to task in the journal he formed in 1934. Other proponents of Essentialism are: James D. Koerner (1959), H. G. Rickover (1959), Paul Copperman (1978), and Theodore Sizer (1985).
Progressivists believe that education should focus on the whole child, rather than on the content or the teacher. This educational philosophy stresses that students should test ideas by active experimentation. Learning is rooted in the questions of learners that arise through experiencing the world. It is active, not passive. The learner is a problem solver and thinker who makes meaning through his or her individual experience in the physical and cultural context. Effective teachers provide experiences so that students can learn by doing. Curriculum content is derived from student interests and questions. The scientific method is used by progressivist educators so that students can study matter and events systematically and first hand. The emphasis is on process-how one comes to know. The Progressive education philosophy was established in America from the mid 1920s through the mid 1950s. John Dewey was its foremost proponent. One of his tenets was that the school should improve the way of life of our citizens through experiencing freedom and democracy in schools. Shared decision making, planning of teachers with students, student-selected topics are all aspects. Books are tools, rather than authority.
Social reconstructionism is a philosophy that emphasizes the addressing of social questions and a quest to create a better society and worldwide democracy. Reconstructionist educators focus on a curriculum that highlights social reform as the aim of education. Theodore Brameld (1904-1987) was the founder of social reconstructionism, in reaction against the realities of World War II. He recognized the potential for either human annihilation through technology and human cruelty or the capacity to create a beneficent society using technology and human compassion. George Counts (1889-1974) recognized that education was the means of preparing people for creating this new social order.
Critical theorists, like social reconstructionists, believe that systems must be changed to overcome oppression and improve human conditions. Paulo Freire (1921-1997) was a Brazilian whose experiences living in poverty led him to champion education and literacy as the vehicle for social change. In his view, humans must learn to resist oppression and not become its victims, nor oppress others. To do so requires dialog and critical consciousness, the development of awareness to overcome domination and oppression. Rather than “teaching as banking,” in which the educator deposits information into students’ heads, Freire saw teaching and learning as a process of inquiry in which the child must invent and reinvent the world.
For social reconstructionists and critical theorists, curriculum focuses on student experience and taking social action on real problems, such as violence, hunger, international terrorism, inflation, and inequality. Strategies for dealing with controversial issues (particularly in social studies and literature), inquiry, dialogue, and multiple perspectives are the focus. Community-based learning and bringing the world into the classroom are also strategies.
Think about it:
- Why might the study of philosophy be particularly important to educators?
- Which branch or branches of philosophy would you want to emphasize in your classroom? Why?
- Do you learn better deductively or inductively? Why do you think?
- Can you think of other school-based examples for each of the branches and sub branches?
AIOU Solved Assignments 1& 2 Code 8609 Spring 2020
Q 03- Explain the role of following branches of PHILOSOPHY in the perspectives of education.
Epistemology is the study of knowledge. Epistemologists concern themselves with a number of tasks, which we might sort into two categories.
First, we must determine the nature of knowledge; that is, what does it mean to say that someone knows, or fails to know, something? This is a matter of understanding what knowledge is, and how to distinguish between cases in which someone knows something and cases in which someone does not know something. While there is some general agreement about some aspects of this issue, we shall see that this question is much more difficult than one might imagine.
Second, we must determine the extent of human knowledge; that is, how much do we, or can we, know? How can we use our reason, our senses, the testimony of others, and other resources to acquire knowledge? Are there limits to what we can know? For instance, are some things unknowable? Is it possible that we do not know nearly as much as we think we do? Should we have a legitimate worry about skepticism, the view that we do not or cannot know anything at all?
Kinds of Knowledge
The term “epistemology” comes from the Greek “episteme,” meaning “knowledge,” and “logos,” meaning, roughly, “study, or science, of.” “Logos” is the root of all terms ending in “-ology” – such as psychology, anthropology – and of “logic,” and has many other related meanings.
The word “knowledge” and its cognates are used in a variety of ways. One common use of the word “know” is as an expression of psychological conviction. For instance, we might hear someone say, “I just knew it wouldn’t rain, but then it did.” While this may be an appropriate usage, philosophers tend to use the word “know” in a factive sense, so that one cannot know something that is not the case. (This point is discussed at greater length in section 2b below.)
The Nature of Propositional Knowledge
Having narrowed our focus to propositional knowledge, we must ask ourselves what, exactly, constitutes knowledge. What does it mean for someone to know something? What is the difference between someone who knows something and someone else who does not know it, or between something one knows and something one does not know? Since the scope of knowledge is so broad, we need a general characterization of knowledge, one which is applicable to any kind of proposition whatsoever. Epistemologists have usually undertaken this task by seeking a correct and complete analysis of the concept of knowledge, in other words a set of individually necessary and jointly sufficient conditions which determine whether someone knows something.
Let us begin with the observation that knowledge is a mental state; that is, knowledge exists in one’s mind, and unthinking things cannot know anything. Further, knowledge is a specific kind of mental state. While “that”-clauses can also be used to describe desires and intentions, these cannot constitute knowledge. Rather, knowledge is a kind of belief. If one has no beliefs about a particular matter, one cannot have knowledge about it.
Knowledge, then, requires belief. Of course, not all beliefs constitute knowledge. Belief is necessary but not sufficient for knowledge. We are all sometimes mistaken in what we believe; in other words, while some of our beliefs are true, others are false. As we try to acquire knowledge, then, we are trying to increase our stock of true beliefs (while simultaneously minimizing our false beliefs).
We might say that the most typical purpose of beliefs is to describe or capture the way things actually are; that is, when one forms a belief, one is seeking a match between one’s mind and the world. (We sometimes, of course, form beliefs for other reasons – to create a positive attitude, to deceive ourselves, and so forth – but when we seek knowledge, we are trying to get things right.) And, alas, we sometimes fail to achieve such a match; some of our beliefs do not describe the way things actually are.
Knowledge, then, requires factual belief. However, this does not suffice to capture the nature of knowledge. Just as knowledge requires successfully achieving the objective of true belief, it also requires success with regard to the formation of that belief. In other words, not all true beliefs constitute knowledge; only true beliefs arrived at in the right way constitute knowledge.
What, then, is the right way of arriving at beliefs? In addition to truth, what other properties must a belief have in order to constitute knowledge? We might begin by noting that sound reasoning and solid evidence seem to be the way to acquire knowledge. By contrast, a lucky guess cannot constitute knowledge. Similarly, misinformation and faulty reasoning do not seem like a recipe for knowledge, even if they happen to lead to a true belief. A belief is said to be justified if it is obtained in the right way. While justification seems, at first glance, to be a matter of a belief’s being based on evidence and reasoning rather than on luck or misinformation, we shall see that there is much disagreement regarding how to spell out the details.
d. The Gettier Problem
For some time, the justified true belief (JTB) account was widely agreed to capture the nature of knowledge. However, in 1963, Edmund Gettier published a short but widely influential article which has shaped much subsequent work in epistemology. Gettier provided two examples in which someone had a true and justified belief, but in which we seem to want to deny that the individual has knowledge, because luck still seems to play a role in his belief having turned out to be true.
Consider an example. Suppose that the clock on campus (which keeps accurate time and is well maintained) stopped working at 11:56pm last night, and has yet to be repaired. On my way to my noon class, exactly twelve hours later, I glance at the clock and form the belief that the time is 11:56. My belief is true, of course, since the time is indeed 11:56. And my belief is justified, as I have no reason to doubt that the clock is working, and I cannot be blamed for basing beliefs about the time on what the clock says. Nonetheless, it seems evident that I do not know that the time is 11:56. After all, if I had walked past the clock a bit earlier or a bit later, I would have ended up with a false belief rather than a true one.
i. The No-False-Belief Condition
We might think that there is a simple and straightforward solution to the Gettier problem. Note that my reasoning was tacitly based on my belief that the clock is working properly, and that this belief is false. This seems to explain what has gone wrong in this example. Accordingly, we might revise our analysis of knowledge by insisting that to constitute knowledge, a belief must be true and justified and must be formed without relying on any false beliefs. In other words, we might say, justification, truth, and belief are all necessary for knowledge, but they are not jointly sufficient for knowledge; there is a fourth condition – namely, that no false beliefs be essentially involved in the reasoning that led to the belief – which is also necessary.
ii. The No-Defeaters Condition
However, the no-false-belief condition does not seem to be completely misguided; perhaps we can add some other condition to justification and truth to yield a correct characterization of knowledge. Note that, even if I didn’t actively form the belief that the clock is currently working properly, it seems to be implicit in my reasoning, and the fact that it is false is surely relevant to the problem. After all, if I were asked, at the time that I looked at the clock, whether it is working properly, I would have said that it is. Conversely, if I believed that the clock wasn’t working properly, I wouldn’t be justified in forming a belief about the time based on what the clock says.
In other words, the proposition that the clock is working properly right now meets the following conditions: it is a false proposition, I do not realize that it is a false proposition, and if I had realized that it is a false proposition, my justification for my belief that it is 11:56 would have been undercut or defeated. If we call propositions such as this “defeaters,” then we can say that to constitute knowledge, a belief must be true and justified, and there must not be any defeaters to the justification of that belief. Many epistemologists believe this analysis to be correct.
iii. Causal Accounts of Knowledge
Rather than modifying the JTB account of knowledge by adding a fourth condition, some epistemologists see the Gettier problem as reason to seek a substantially different alternative. We have noted that knowledge should not involve luck, and that Gettier-type examples are those in which luck plays some role in the formation of a justified true belief. In typical instances of knowledge, the factors responsible for the justification of a belief are also responsible for its truth. For example, when the clock is working properly, my belief is both true and justified because it’s based on the clock, which accurately displays the time. But one feature that all Gettier-type examples have in common is the lack of a clear connection between the truth and the justification of the belief in question. For example, my belief that the time is 11:56 is justified because it’s based on the clock, but it’s true because I happened to walk by at just the right moment. So, we might insist that to constitute knowledge, a belief must be both true and justified, and its truth and justification must be connected somehow.
3. The Nature of Justification
One reason that the Gettier problem is so problematic is that neither Gettier nor anyone who preceded him has offered a sufficiently clear and accurate analysis of justification. We have said that justification is a matter of a belief’s having been formed in the right way, but we have yet to say what that amounts to. We must now consider this matter more closely.
We have noted that the goal of our belief-forming practices is to obtain truth while avoiding error, and that justification is the feature of beliefs which are formed in such a way as to best pursue this goal. If we think, then, of the goal of our belief-forming practices as an attempt to establish a match between one’s mind and the world, and if we also think of the application or withholding of the justification condition as an evaluation of whether this match was arrived at in the right way, then there seem to be two obvious approaches to construing justification: namely, in terms of the believer’s mind, or in terms of the world.
Belief is a mental state, and belief-formation is a mental process. Accordingly, one might reason, whether or not a belief is justified – whether, that is, it is formed in the right way – can be determined by examining the thought-processes of the believer during its formation. Such a view, which maintains that justification depends solely on factors internal to the believer’s mind, is called internalism. (The term “internalism” has different meanings in other contexts; here, it will be used strictly to refer to this type of view about epistemic justification.)
Internalists might be dissatisfied with foundationalism, since it allows for the possibility of beliefs that are justified without being based upon other beliefs. Since it was our solution to the regress problem that led us to foundationalism, and since none of the alternatives seem palatable, we might look for a flaw in the problem itself. Note that the problem is based on a pivotal but hitherto unstated assumption: namely, that justification is linear in fashion. That is, the statement of the regress problem assumes that the basing relation parallels a logical argument, with one belief being based on one or more other beliefs in an asymmetrical fashion.
Axiology is the study of values and how those values come about in a society. Axiology seeks to understand the nature of values and value judgments. It is closely related to two other realms of philosophy: ethics and aesthetics. All three branches deal with worth. Ethics is concerned with goodness, trying to understand what good is and what it means to be good. Aesthetics is concerned with beauty and harmony, trying to understand beauty and what it means or how it is defined. Axiology is a necessary component of both ethics and aesthetics, because one must use concepts of worth to define “goodness” or “beauty,” and therefore one must understand what is valuable and why. Understanding values helps us to determine motive.
When children ask questions like “why do we do this?” or “how come?” they are asking axiological questions. They want to know what it is that motivates us to take action or refrain from action. The parent says not to take a cookie from the jar. The child wonders why taking a cookie from the jar is wrong and argues with the parent. The parent often tires of trying to explain and simply replies, “Because I said so.” The child will stop arguing if he values the established authority (or if he fears the punishment of disobeying). On the other hand, the child may stop arguing simply because he respects his parent. In this example, the value is either authority or respect, depending on the values of the child. Axiology asks, “Where did these values come from? Can either of these values be called good? Is one better than another? Why?”
The term “value” originally meant the worth of something, chiefly in the economic sense of exchange value, as in the work of the 18th-century political economist Adam Smith. A broad extension of the meaning of value to wider areas of philosophical interest occurred during the 19th century under the influence of a variety of thinkers and schools: the Neo-Kantians Rudolf Hermann Lotze and Albrecht Ritschl; Friedrich Nietzsche, author of a theory of the transvaluation of all values; Alexius Meinong and Christian von Ehrenfels; and Eduard von Hartmann, philosopher of the unconscious, whose Grundriss der Axiologie (1909; “Outline of Axiology”) first used the term in a title. Hugo Münsterberg, often regarded as the founder of applied psychology, and Wilbur Marshall Urban, whose Valuation, Its Nature and Laws (1909) was the first treatise on this topic in English, introduced the movement to the United States. Ralph Barton Perry’s book General Theory of Value (1926) has been called the magnum opus of the new approach. A value, he theorized, is “any object of any interest.” Later, he explored eight “realms” of value: morality, religion, art, science, economics, politics, law, and custom.
Instrumental and intrinsic value
A distinction is commonly made between instrumental and intrinsic value—between what is good as a means and what is good as an end. John Dewey, in Human Nature and Conduct (1922) and Theory of Valuation (1939), presented a pragmatic interpretation and tried to break down this distinction between means and ends, though the latter effort was more likely a way of emphasizing the point that many actual things in human life—such as health, knowledge, and virtue—are good in both senses. Other philosophers, such as C.I. Lewis, Georg Henrik von Wright, and W.K. Frankena, have multiplied the distinctions—differentiating, for example, between instrumental value (being good for some purpose) and technical value (being good at doing something) or between contributory value (being good as part of a whole) and final value (being good as a whole).
Many different answers are given to the question “What is intrinsically good?” Hedonists say it is pleasure; Pragmatists, satisfaction, growth, or adjustment; Kantians, a good will; Humanists, harmonious self-realization; Christians, the love of God. Pluralists, such as G.E. Moore, W.D. Ross, Max Scheler, and Ralph Barton Perry, argue that there are any number of intrinsically good things. Moore, a founding father of Analytic philosophy, developed a theory of organic wholes, holding that the value of an aggregate of things depends upon how they are combined.
Because “fact” symbolizes objectivity and “value” suggests subjectivity, the relationship of value to fact is of fundamental importance in developing any theory of the objectivity of value and of value judgments. Whereas such descriptive sciences as sociology, psychology, anthropology, and comparative religion all attempt to give a factual description of what is actually valued, as well as causal explanations of similarities and differences between the valuations, it remains the philosopher’s task to ask about their objective validity. The philosopher asks whether something is of value because it is desired, as subjectivists such as Perry hold, or whether it is desired because it has value, as objectivists such as Moore and Nicolai Hartmann claim. In both approaches, value judgments are assumed to have a cognitive status, and the approaches differ only on whether a value exists as a property of something independently of human interest in it or desire for it. Noncognitivists, on the other hand, deny the cognitive status of value judgments, holding that their main function is either emotive, as the positivist A.J. Ayer maintains, or prescriptive, as the analyst R.M. Hare holds. Existentialists, such as Jean-Paul Sartre, emphasizing freedom, decision, and choice of one’s values, also appear to reject any logical or ontological connection between value and fact.
AIOU Solved Assignments 1& 2 Code 8609 Spring 2020
Q 04- Discuss the development of pragmatism.
There are many different ways to approach education. Watch this lesson to find out about one of them, pragmatism, and the way that it combines practical and experiential learning to offer students a chance to grow and learn.
Sally is a new teacher, and she’s stressed out. She wants to make her lessons as good as possible, and to reach as many students as possible, but she’s not sure how to do that. Add on top of that the fact that she’s supposed to teach all sorts of information that seems completely useless in the real world, and she is worried that her students will leave her class having not gotten anything out of it.
Pragmatism is an educational philosophy that says that education should be about life and growth. That is, teachers should be teaching students things that are practical for life and encourage them to grow into better people. Many famous educators, including John Dewey, were pragmatists.
Let’s look closer at how Sally can apply the basic principles of pragmatism to her lesson planning.
Okay, Sally understands that education should be practical. But what, exactly, does that mean? And how will it look in her classroom?
The idea of practical learning is that education should apply to the real world. For example, if Sally is teaching students who live in an urban area, there might not be much practical application for them to learn about agricultural science. Or, if she’s teaching at a school for children of farmers, there might be little need for her to teach art history.
Do you have students who struggle to use appropriate verbal and nonverbal language in different social situations? Then this is the lesson for you! Read on for fun activities that will increase your students’ pragmatic skills starting today!
Pragmatic Language Skills
Pragmatic language is the language that we use daily to communicate with other people. This can include the words we use and how we say those words as well as our body language when we are speaking and when we are silent. It also applies to how we do all this in different social settings. Deficits in pragmatic skills can make it difficult for our students to correctly and appropriately express what they are thinking and feeling, as well as making it difficult to understand what others are thinking and feeling.
The following activities and exercises will help you help your students become masters of pragmatics!
It arises out of actual living. It does not believe in fixed and eternal values. It is dynamic and ever-changing. It is a revolt against Absolutism. Reality is still in the making. It is never complete.
Our judgement happens to be true if it gives satisfactory results in experience, i.e., by the way it works out. A judgement in itself is neither true nor false. There are no established systems of ideas which will be true for all times. It is humanistic in as much as it is concerned more with human life and things of human interest than with any established tenets. Therefore, it is called humanism.
Pragmatism means action, from which the words practical and practice have come. The idealist constructs a transcendental ideal, which cannot be realized by man. The pragmatist lays down standards which are attainable. Pragmatists are practical people.
They face problems and try to solve them from practical point of view. Unlike idealists they live in the world of realities, not in the world of ideals. Pragmatists view life as it is, while idealists view life as it should be. The central theme of pragmatism is activity.
Educative experiences in life depend upon two things:
The emphasis of pragmatism is on action rather than on thought. Thought is subordinated to action. It is made an instrument to find suitable means for action. That is why pragmatism is also called Instrumentalism. Ideas are tools. Thought enlarges its scope and usefulness by testing itself on practical issues.
Since pragmatism advocates the experimental method of science, it is also called Experimentalism — thus stressing the practical significance of thought. Experimentalism involves the belief that thoughtful action is in its nature always a kind of testing of provisional conclusions and hypotheses.
Pragmatism has no obstructive dogmas. It accepts everything that has practical consequences. Even mystical experiences are accepted if they have practical results. Unlike idealists they believe that philosophy emerges out of educational practices while the idealists say that “education is the dynamic side of philosophy”. The chief exponents of Pragmatism are William James (1842-1910), Schiller, and John Dewey (1859-1952).
Pragmatism in Education:
In the present world pragmatism has influenced education tremendously. It is a practical and utilitarian philosophy. It makes activity the basis of all teaching and learning. It is activity around which an educational process revolves.
It makes learning purposeful and infuses a sense of reality in education. It makes schools into workshops and laboratories. It gives an experimental character to education. Pragmatism makes man optimistic, energetic and active. It gives him self-confidence. The child creates values through his own activities. According to pragmatism, education is not the dynamic side of philosophy as advocated by the idealists. It is philosophy which emerges from educational practice. Education creates values and formulates ideas which constitute pragmatic philosophy. Pragmatism is based on the psychology of individual differences. Pragmatists want education according to aptitudes and abilities of the individual. Individual must be respected and education planned to cater to his inclinations and capacities. But individual development must take place in social context. Every individual has a social self and an individuality can best be developed in and through society.
Thus pragmatism has brought democracy in education. That is why it has advocated self-government in school. The children must learn the technique of managing their own affairs in the school and that would be a good preparation for life. Education is preparation for life. Pragmatism makes a man socially efficient. The pragmatists are of the opinion that the children should-not be asked to work according to predetermined goals. They should determine their goals according to their needs and interests.
Teaching-learning process is a social and bi-polar process. Learning takes place as an interaction between the teacher and the taught. While idealism gives first place to the teacher, pragmatism gives the first place to the taught. Similarly, between thought and action, they give first place to action. The pragmatists decry verbalism and encourage action. Today pragmatism occupies the most dominant place in the United States of America.
According to pragmatism the theory and practice of education is based on two main principles, viz:
(i) Education should have a social function, and
(ii) Education should provide real-life experience to the child.
Pragmatism and Aims of Education:
Pragmatism does not lay down any aims of education in advance. It believes that there can be no fixed aims of education. Life is dynamic and subject to constant change, and hence the aims of education are bound to be dynamic. Education deals with human life. It must help the children to fulfill their biological and social needs.
The only aim of education, according to pragmatism, is to enable the child to create values in his life. In the words of Ross, education must create new values: “the main task of educator is to put the educand into a position to develop values for himself’.
The pragmatist educator aims at the harmonious development of the educand — physical, intellectual, social and aesthetic. The aim of education, therefore, is to direct “the impulses, interests, desires and abilities towards ‘the satisfaction of the felt wants of the child in his environment. Since the pragmatists believe that man is primarily a biological and social organism, education should aim at the development of social efficiency in man. Every child should be an effective member of the society. Education must fulfill his own needs as well as the needs of the society. The children should be so trained that they may be able to solve their present-day problems efficiency and to adjust themselves to their social environment. They should be creative and effective members of the society. Their outlook should be so dynamic that they can change with the changing situations.
What pragmatism wants to achieve through education is the cultivation of a dynamic, adaptable mind which will be resourceful and enterprising in all situations, the mind which will have powers to create values in an unknown future. Education must foster competence in the children that they may be able to tackle the problems of future life.
Pragmatism and Curriculum:
The aims of education are reflected in the curriculum. The pragmatic aims can only be reflected in a pragmatic curriculum. The curriculum should be framed on the basis of certain basic principles. These are utility, interest, experience and integration. Practical utility is the watchword of pragmatism.
Hence those subjects, which have utility to the students should be included in the curriculum. The subjects which carry occupational or vocational utility should find a place in the curriculum. Language, hygiene, history, geography, physics, mathematics, sciences, domestic science for girls, agriculture for boys should be incorporated in the curriculum. While deciding the subjects of curriculum the nature of the child, his tendencies, interests, impulses at the various stages of his growth and multiple activities of daily life should be taken into consideration. The subjects like psychology and sociology — which deal with human behaviour — should be included in the curriculum.
The pragmatists advocate that the pupils should not be taught dead facts and theories because these may not help them to solve the problems of life. The subjects which help to solve the practical problems of life should be included in the school curriculum, particularly at the elementary stage. The pragmatic aim of education is to prepare the child for a successful and well- adjusted life. He must be fully adjusted to his environment. The pragmatists hold the view that the students should acquire that knowledge which is helpful to them in solving the present-day problems. They should learn only those skills which are useful to them in practical life. With this end in view the elementary school curriculum should include subjects life reading, writing, arithmetic, nature study, hand-work and drawing.
According to pragmatism, all education is “learning by doing”. So it must be based on the child’s experiences as well as occupations and activities. Besides the school subjects, free, purposive and socialised activities should be in the curriculum. The pragmatists do not allow the inclusion of cultural activities in the curriculum, because they think these activities have no practical value. But this view is somewhat narrow and biased. The pragmatists believe in the unity of all knowledge and skill. They prefer to give integrated knowledge round a particular problem of life. They do not like to divide subjects of instructions into water-tight compartments. Life is the subject matter of instruction. Its various problems studied in complete perspective are fit subjects of instruction.
Pragmatism and Methods of Teaching:
The principle of philosophy of pragmatic method of teaching is practical utility. The child is the central figure in this method. Pragmatic method is an activity-based method. The essence of pragmatic method is learning through personal experience of the child. To a pragmatist education means preparation for practical life.
The child should know the art of successful tackling of practical problems and real situations of life. Pragmatic method is thus a problem-solving method. The child has to be placed in real situations which he has to tackle.
The pragmatists are not interested in lectures or theoretical exposition. They want the children to do something. Action rather than contemplation figures prominently in pragmatic education. The child should learn by doing. “Learning by doing” is the great maxim of pragmatic education.
To the pragmatist — “education is not so much teaching the child things he ought to know, as encouraging him to learn for himself through experimental and creative activity”. Learning by doing makes a person creative, confident and cooperative. The pragmatic method is socialistic in nature. His learning should be thoroughly purposive. He should learn to fulfill the purpose of his life.
The method employed by the pragmatist teacher is experimental. The pupil is required to discover the truth for himself. To facilitate this discovery the application of the inductive and heuristic methods of teaching is necessary. Experiences should, therefore, be planned to arouse the curiosity of children to acquire knowledge. The business of the teacher, therefore, is to teach his pupils to do rather than to know, to discover for themselves rather than to collect dry information. It is the business of the teacher to arouse “interest” in children. Interest is a watchword in pragmatic education.
Textbooks and teachers are not so much important in pragmatic education. Their position is secondary in the teaching- learning process. They are required to suggest and prompt only. The teacher suggests problems, indicates the lines of active solution and then leaves the students to experiment for themselves. The child learns for himself. Pragmatic education is thus auto-education or self-education. Pragmatic method is a Project Method which is of American origin. “A project is a whole-hearted purposeful activity, proceeding in a social environment.” This definition is given by Kilpatrick, a follower of Dewey. A project has also been defined in other ways.
According to Dr. Stevenson a project is “a problematic act carried to completion in its natural setting.” Thorndike defines a project as “The planning and carrying out of some practical accomplishment.” A “project is a voluntary undertaking which involves constructive effort or thought and eventuates into objective results.”
The school tasks, therefore, should be such that arouse the eagerness of the children to do them. Such tasks are real, purposeful and related with life. The projects involve participation in social relationships, division of labor, willing acceptance of responsibility to the community “and they afford valuable preparation for playing a worthy part in a complex society.”
AIOU Solved Assignments 1& 2 Code 8609 Spring 2020
Q 05- Discuss sources of knowledge?
Sources of Knowledge
Given the above characterization of knowledge, there are many ways that one might come to know something. Knowledge of empirical facts about the physical world will necessarily involve perception, in other words, the use of the senses. Science, with its collection of data and conducting of experiments, is the paradigm of empirical knowledge. However, much of our more mundane knowledge comes from the senses, as we look, listen, smell, touch, and taste the various objects in our environments. But all knowledge requires some amount of reasoning. Data collected by scientists must be analyzed before knowledge is yielded, and we draw inferences based on what our senses tell us. And knowledge of abstract or non-empirical facts will exclusively rely upon reasoning. In particular, intuition is often believed to be a sort of direct access to knowledge of the a priori.
Once knowledge is obtained, it can be sustained and passed on to others. Memory allows us to know something that we knew in the past, even, perhaps, if we no longer remember the original justification. Knowledge can also be transmitted from one individual to another via testimony; that is, my justification for a particular belief could amount to the fact that some trusted source has told me that it is true.
In addition to the nature of knowledge, epistemologists concern themselves with the question of the extent of human knowledge: how much do we, or can we, know? Whatever turns out to be the correct account of the nature of knowledge, there remains the matter of whether we actually have any knowledge. It has been suggested that we do not, or cannot, know anything, or at least that we do not know as much as we think we do. Such a view is called skepticism.
We can distinguish between a number of different varieties of skepticism. First, one might be a skeptic only with regard to certain domains, such as mathematics, morality, or the external world (this is the most well-known variety of skepticism). Such a skeptic is a local skeptic, as contrasted with a global skeptic, who maintains that we cannot know anything at all. Also, since knowledge requires that our beliefs be both true and justified, a skeptic might maintain that none of our beliefs are true or that none of them are justified (the latter is much more common than the former).
While it is quite easy to challenge any claim to knowledge by glibly asking, “How do you know?”, this does not suffice to show that skepticism is an important position. Like any philosophical stance, skepticism must be supported by an argument. Many arguments have been offered in defense of skepticism, and many responses to those arguments have been offered in return. Here, we shall consider two of the most prominent arguments in support of skepticism about the external world.
c. Cartesian Skepticism
In the first of his Meditations, René Descartes offers an argument in support of skepticism, which he then attempts to refute in the later Meditations. The argument notes that some of our perceptions are inaccurate. Our senses can trick us; we sometimes mistake a dream for a waking experience, and it is possible that an evil demon is systematically deceiving us. (The modern version of the evil demon scenario is that you are a brain-in-a-vat, because scientists have removed your brain from your skull, connected it to a sophisticated computer, and immersed it in a vat of preservative fluid. The computer produces what seem to be genuine sense experiences, and also responds to your brain’s output to make it seem that you are able to move about in your environment as you did when your brain was still in your body. While this scenario may seem far-fetched, we must admit that it is at least possible.)
As a result, some of our beliefs will be false. In order to be justified in believing what we do, we must have some way to distinguish between those beliefs which are true (or, at least, are likely to be true) and those which are not. But just as there are no signs that will allow us to distinguish between waking and dreaming, there are no signs that will allow us to distinguish between beliefs that are accurate and beliefs which are the result of the machinations of an evil demon. This indistinguishability between trustworthy and untrustworthy belief, the argument goes, renders all of our beliefs unjustified, and thus we cannot know anything. A satisfactory response to this argument, then, must show either that we are indeed able to distinguish between true and false beliefs, or that we need not be able to make such a distinction.
d. Humean Skepticism
According to the indistinguishability skeptic, my senses can tell me how things appear, but not how they actually are. We need to use reason to construct an argument that leads us from beliefs about how things appear to (justified) beliefs about how they are. But even if we are able to trust our perceptions, so that we know that they are accurate, David Hume argues that the specter of skepticism remains. Note that we only perceive a very small part of the universe at any given moment, although we think that we have knowledge of the world beyond that which we are currently perceiving. It follows, then, that the senses alone cannot account for this knowledge, and that reason must supplement the senses in some way in order to account for any such knowledge. However, Hume argues, reason is incapable of providing justification for any belief about the external world beyond the scope of our current sense perceptions. Let us consider two such possible arguments and Hume’s critique of them.
i. Numerical vs. Qualitative Identity
We typically believe that the external world is, for the most part, stable. For instance, I believe that my car is parked where I left it this morning, even though I am not currently looking at it. If I were to go peek out the window right now and see my car, I might form the belief that my car has been in the same space all day. What is the basis for this belief? If asked to make my reasoning explicit, I might proceed as follows:
I have had two sense-experiences of my car: one this morning and one just now.
The two sense-experiences were (more or less) identical.
Therefore, it is likely that the objects that caused them are identical.
Therefore, a single object – my car – has been in that parking space all day.
Similar reasoning would undergird all of our beliefs about the persistence of the external world and all of the objects we perceive. But are these beliefs justified? Hume thinks not, since the above argument (and all arguments like it) contains an equivocation. In particular, the first occurrence of “identical” refers to qualitative identity. The two sense-experiences are not one and the same, but are distinct; when we say that they are identical we mean that one is similar to the other in all of its qualities or properties. But the second occurrence of “identical” refers to numerical identity. When we say that the objects that caused the two sense-experiences are identical, we mean that there is one object, rather than two, that is responsible for both of them. This equivocation, Hume argues, renders the argument fallacious; accordingly, we need another argument to support our belief that objects persist even when we are not observing them.
ii. Hume’s Skepticism about Induction
Suppose that a satisfactory argument could be found in support of our beliefs in the persistence of physical objects. This would provide us with knowledge that the objects that we have observed have persisted even when we were not observing them. But in addition to believing that these objects have persisted up until now, we believe that they will persist in the future; we also believe that objects we have never observed similarly have persisted and will persist. In other words, we expect the future to be roughly like the past, and the parts of the universe that we have not observed to be roughly like the parts that we have observed. For example, I believe that my car will persist into the future. What is the basis for this belief? If asked to make my reasoning explicit, I might proceed as follows:
My car has always persisted in the past.
Nature is roughly uniform across time and space (and thus the future will be roughly like the past).
Therefore, my car will persist in the future.
Similar reasoning would undergird all of our beliefs about the future and about the unobserved. Are such beliefs justified? Again, Hume thinks not, since the above argument, and all arguments like it, contain an unsupported premise, namely the second premise, which might be called the Principle of the Uniformity of Nature (PUN). Why should we believe this principle to be true? Hume insists that we provide some reason in support of this belief. Because the above argument is an inductive rather than a deductive argument, the problem of showing that it is a good argument is typically referred to as the “problem of induction.” We might think that there is a simple and straightforward solution to the problem of induction, and that we can indeed provide support for our belief that PUN is true. Such an argument would proceed as follows:
PUN has always been true in the past.
Nature is roughly uniform across time and space (and thus the future will be roughly like the past).
Therefore, PUN will be true in the future.
This argument, however, is circular; its second premise is PUN itself! Accordingly, we need another argument to support our belief that PUN is true, and thus to justify our inductive arguments about the future and the unobserved.
The study of knowledge is one of the most fundamental aspects of philosophical inquiry. Any claim to knowledge must be evaluated to determine whether or not it indeed constitutes knowledge. Such an evaluation essentially requires an understanding of what knowledge is and how much knowledge is possible. While this article provides on overview of the important issues, it leaves the most basic questions unanswered; epistemology will continue to be an area of philosophical discussion as long as these questions remain.
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