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Idealism, Realism, Pragmatism, Existentialism EDUC 114/500

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Transcript of Idealism, Realism, Pragmatism, Existentialism EDUC 114/500

Where does knowledge come from?
What is the purpose of schooling?
What does it mean to be educated?
What role should the teacher have in the classroom?
What role should the student have in the classroom.
What's the best way to know if a child is learning, or has learned what you have taught them?
Why do some kids struggle in school? Who is responsible?
How have your life experiences influenced the kind of teacher you will be?
What are your strengths and how will they influence your teaching?

What is the ultimate purpose of human existence (telos)?
Logic The branch of philosophy that seeks to bring order to the reasoning process. It includes inductive and deductive reasoning.

Deductive reasoning characterized scientific inquiry for hundreds of years. This line of reasoning proceeds from general principles to explain specific events.

Inductive reasoning, is the prevalent approach in science today in which information from specific events is used to make generalized statements.
Logic
Epistemology The branch of philosophy that considers how people come to know what they know.

This concerns the nature and origin of truth and knowledge.

Socrates was known for his notion that men were “pregnant with knowledge.” By this he meant that knowledge exists within us and we merely need to bring that knowledge to the surface.

Others, such as John Locke, would maintain that we come into this world with no knowledge at all, a tabula rasa, and we learn all we know from the world around us.
Epistemology

Metaphysics The branch of philosophy that considers questions about the physical universe (e.g., the nature and origin of the physical world).

Questions such as “What is real?” or “What is the origin of the world?” would constitute metaphysical concerns.
Metaphysics

Our discussion of philosophies begins with the way in which trains of thought are conceptualized. We will discuss four conceptual clusters:

metaphysics,
axiology,
epistemology, and
logic.
Conceptual Clusters of Philosophical Questions

Our look at philosophies in schools will address perennialism, essentialism, progressivism, and social reconstructionism. You have likely encountered versions of each of these philosophies in the schools you have attended.

Finally, our discussion will turn to several psychological perspectives: behaviorism, humanism, and constructivism.
Developing Your Philosophical Perspective
The word “philosophy” comes from the Greek words philia, “love,” and sophia, “wisdom.” The “love of wisdom” and the search for knowledge are broad concepts.

Our discussion will move from the conceptual clusters of philosophy to four of the major schools of philosophy: idealism, realism, pragmatism, and existentialism. In essence, each school of thought represents a perspective on the great questions facing humanity.
Developing Your Philosophical Perspective
Whether you have articulated it or not, philosophy is at the heart of your perspective of the world and of life. There is perhaps no more powerful subject that you could entertain, nor another as intellectually challenging.

Philosophy is also implicit in the work of teachers. The world’s great philosophers were also teachers.

More so than most in our society, the teacher has an obligation to understand and articulate a clear philosophy.
Introduction
Chapter 8

Philosophy and Education

Ebert and Culyer
School: An Introduction to Education
3rd edition
As education in the United States was born of a European perspective, schools of Western philosophy are particularly relevant to our educational system.

We look now at four such schools of thought:

idealism,
realism,
pragmatism, and
existentialism.
Schools of Philosophy

Axiology The branch of philosophy that considers the study of fundamental ideas or principles (i.e., the universally accepted truths of ethics and aesthetics).

A study of ethics focuses on the ideas and beliefs that are valued by a society in a moral sense.

Aesthetics is concerned with the appreciation of beauty and the determination of what constitutes beauty for a given society.
Axiology
We have an opportunity here to consider a very poignant question with regard to organized schooling.
http://www.polleverywhere.com/multiple_choice_polls/MTQ5MzE4NzY0NQ

Which of the following would you consider to be the responsibility of public schooling in the United States?

A)To choose ONE philosophic perspective that guides the education of all students even though it may conflict with the perspective of one or more group
B)To identify ONE philosophic perspective that includes
awareness
of other perspectives
C)To create a philosophic perspective that incorporates all of the cultural perspectives represented in the school
What is Your Opinion?

In modern times there are opposing views about the practice of education. There is no general agreement about what the young should learn either in relation to virtue or in relation to the best life. . . . Men do not prize most highly the same virtue, so naturally they differ also about the proper training for it.

Aristotle

Chapter Quotation
St. Augustine (AD 354–430) argued that there is a world of man and a world of God.

As a result of original sin, man had been cast out of the world of God.

It is our purpose to return to that world. The bridge between the two worlds is the soul.
Religious Idealism
The “works” of Socrates were actually chronicled by Plato (427–347 BC), who used Socrates’ conversations as the basis for the dialogues he wrote.

From an idealist perspective the truth, or knowledge, is something that exists. We do not create knowledge, we discover it.

The search for the absolute truth, or what Plato referred to as the Good, is the quest of the philosopher.

Our bridge to that truth is the mind.
Classical Idealism

Idealism The philosophy that the only true reality is that of ideas.

In a sense, all philosophies owe their existence to the philosophy of idealism. The reason is in the very term itself. Idealism is the philosophy of ideas. In fact, it might be more appropriate to refer to it as ideaism.
Idealism
What does a philosophy of idealism bring to the table with regard to school?

A system of education that emphasizes idealism will focus on intellectual activity and develop morals and ethics.

At a time when many are calling for character development experiences in the public schools, idealism offers the notion that there do exist ideals and truths that govern us all.
Idealism and the Schools
Modern Idealism
Descartes 1650 AD
Berkeley 1753 AD
Kant 1804 AD
Hegel 1831 AD
Modern
Augustine 430 A.D.
Religious
Plato (Socrates) 347 B.C.E.
Classic
Idealism
Hegel
Thought is a continuum characterized by constant synthesizing
Nature is the “otherness” of idea
Nature is a lower form
Through a progressive synthesis we could achieve the final stage, Spirit, and encounter the Absolute
Emphasized a collective, not an individual, understanding of human consciousness
World of God and World of Man
Release oneself from the World of Man and enter into the World of God
People do not create knowledge, God already created it and we must look into our souls to find God
Augustine
Dialectic
Allegory of the cave
World of ideas and World of Matter
Universal Truths exist, the material world will trick you, the mind is the key
Philosophers who search for Truth are the only people who can help governments rule justly
Plato
In the 13th century St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) explained the real world versus the world of God in terms of reason.

God, he maintained, is pure reason, and thus the universe is reason as well.

Since our purpose is to reunite the soul with God, it is the real world working with our spiritual existence that fulfills our purpose in life: a search that moves us from our imperfect world to the perfect world of God.

Religious Realism
The philosophy of realism can be traced to Aristotle (384–322 BC), Plato’s student in ancient Greece.

Realism maintains that matter is real and exists independent of the mind. Though you may not perceive and study a particular object, the realist contends that the object nonetheless exists.

Underlying all inquiry, according to Aristotle, is the question of purpose: What is an object’s purpose?

For people, he goes on to say, the purpose is to think—and to think intelligently. Through such thinking we will come to understand.

Classical Realism

Realism The philosophy that maintains that matter is real and that ideas underlie matter.

The arguments of the empiricists (those who seek evidence) as opposed to the rationalists (those who say it is all a function of mind) are compelling.

Realism
A realist-based education would emphasize a strong moral character because there are enduring truths to be understood.

With its focus on inquiry we could also expect educational efforts to be systematic, highly organized, and fairly rigid.

A realist emphasis in education would call for teachers who are both experts in their particular subject and liberally educated so they might appreciate the place of their subject in relation to others.

Realism and the Schools
Francis Bacon (1561–1626) sought to change the course of systematic reasoning from the deductive approach to the inductive approach. Bacon argued that one should begin with the particulars—the physical world around us—and avoid preconceived notions.

John Locke (1632–1704) offered a perspective that emphasized the influence of the physical world. There are no innate ideas, spiritual or otherwise, in Locke’s the Socratic notion that men are “pregnant with knowledge” would be nonsense. Rather, at birth our minds are a blank slate, a tabula rasa, and all that we come to know will be written by the hand of experience.

Modern Realism
Behaviorism
Pavlov d.1936
Skinner d.1990
Marx
1883
Scientific
Galileo
Copernicus
Newton
Hobbes
1679
Locke 1704
Materialism
Bacon 1626 AD
Modern
Aquinas 1274 AD
Religious
Aristotle 322 BCE
Classic
Realism
Advocates a bottom up approach to philosophy. Proposes that philosophers avoid prejudicial frameworks and assumptions and accept experience as it is lived
Dewey is not advocating relativism or nihilism, because it is in experience that one finds patterns of inquiry and logic useful for ordering and directing future events
Philosophical questions about knowledge and truth can never be completely walled off from efforts to create and preserve value. Life is neither perfectly good nor bad. It can only be improved through human effort. Philosophy's motive for existence, then, is to improve life
The purpose of intellectual inquiry is to search for ways (ideas, practices) to improve this life rather than to look for absolute value. Philosophy must somehow engage with the “problems of men.”
Value is not purely socially constructed, but a quality situated in events
John Dewey
The experiences of school must facilitate problem-solving ability and reflection.

If students are to become good citizens, they must have experiences that foster good citizenship and have practice solving problems as a good citizen would be expected to do. If they are to become democratic in their thinking, they must have democratic experiences to build upon.

In the first half of the 20th century, Dewey’s experimentalism became an explosive philosophical movement in education known as progressivism.
Pragmatism and the Schools
Dewey, and “the scientific method” can be used in solving a vast array of problems. He sees ideas as the instruments for solving problems and outlines a five-step process for accomplishing the task:

1. Recognize that a problem exists.
2. Clearly define the problem.
3. Suggest possible solutions.
4. Consider the potential consequences of the possible solutions.
5. Carry out further observation and experiment leading to a solution’s acceptance or rejection.
Pragmatism Becomes Practical
In realist philosophy Aristotle had suggested that the purpose of humans is to think. John Dewey, as a pragmatist—or more properly, an experimentalist—took that notion a step further.

Dewey suggested that genuine thought begins with a problematic situation. That is, when people think, they do so for the purpose of solving some problem or question. Thus our purpose in a pragmatic sense is to solve problems.
Pragmatism Becomes Practical

In essence, your understanding of some object or event may be quite different from that of any one of your classmates, and yet both explanations can be legitimate representations of the world.

Because of this it is important that we be extremely careful and precise in the formation of those ideas.
Establishing the Foundation for Pragmatism
The foundation for pragmatism refers us to the work of Francis Bacon with the shift from a deductive to an inductive approach to inquiry.

That same emphasis on induction and “the scientific method” was also evident in the work of Charles Sanders Peirce, who argued that reality exists independent of mind (as Aristotle argued), but that our understanding of objects in the real world is tied to our individual perception and thus our individual ideas about the objects.
Establishing the Foundation for Pragmatism

Pragmatism The theme that ideas must serve a useful purpose.

Pragmatism focuses on seeking out processes that help people to reach desirable ends, and that includes a consideration of the consequences of those actions.

Pragmatism has had a tremendous impact upon public education in the United States over the last century.
Pragmatism
Truth is not immutable, but is made in actual, real-life events.
Before one can tell if the idea is any good, one must test it.
To get at truth, one must study experience itself.
William James
Individuals are basically good but have been corrupted by civilization
Rousseau made an educational connection between nature and experience. Children were no longer seen as miniature adults but as natural organisms going through stages of development. This led to educators asking questions about what is natural for children. This set the stage for child-centered education
A child's interests should guide education. An interest is not the same as a whim, however, for by interest Rousseau meant children's native tendencies to find out about the world in which they live.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Peirce 1914
James 1910
Dewey 1953
Modern
Rousseau 1778
Comte 1857
Darwin 1882
Precursors
Pragmatism
Instead of paralyzing, existentialists find the definition of their lives in the quest for meaning. The very meaningless of life compels them to instill life with meaning.

Highest educational goal is to search for oneself. The existentialist must choose whether to define herself and the person she wants to be or to be defined by others. One of the two will happen—the choice is left to the individual.

The emphasis that existentialism places on reflection, dialogue, and the determination of one’s own point of view are worthwhile exercises.

Teachers in such a system would put a premium on divergent thinking, open and honest discourse, and allowing students to formulate ideas— that could be further discussed—rather than imposing ideas on students.
Existentialism in Schools
Existentialism The philosophy that emphasizes thoughtful personal reflection about one’s identity, beliefs, and choices.

The shift is from an emphasis on the mind to understand the universe to an emphasis on the mind to create the universe.

Existentialism emphasizes thoughtful personal reflection about identity, beliefs, and individual choices.

Existentialism places the responsibilities that come with thinking being squarely on the shoulders of each individual.
Existentialism

Which of the four branches of philosophy seems to best match with your own thinking?
http://www.polleverywhere.com/multiple_choice_polls/MjAxMzU4NTkyMg
A)Idealism
B)Realism
C)Pragmatism
D)Existentialism
E)A combination of two or more
What is Your Opinion?
Imagine
Human existence is primarily meaningless because people are thrown into the world totally without meaning, and any meaning that is encountered in the world must be constructed by oneself.
There is no God to give existence meaning, nor does any realm of ideas or independent physical reality exist with its own independent and immutable meaning.
“Existence precedes essence,” which means that if we are indeed without meaning when we are born, then we can fashion our own meaning in the world any way we see fit.
Human freedom is awesome, for if we are totally free, we are also totally responsible for our choices and actions. “Man is condemned to be free.”
When I choose for myself, I choose for all humanity. Whatever I do fashions an image for all humanity. If I decide to marry and have children, then i'm presenting an image for all humanity to live. This is because we are all existing in the same meaningless world. Every single choice we make about ourselves not only applies to us, but to everyone. Everything happens to everyone. This is because we all share the meaningless and absurdity of life, and in our choosing for ourselves we therefore are choosing for others. We are choosing a model for all. Thus freedom is an incredible burden. We must accept responsibility for all of our decisions. Because we are free, we must want freedom for ourselves and for each other.
Disagreed with Nietzsche with regards to the Overman, or the ideal
Jean Paul Sartre
Shift from the mind understanding the universe to the mind creating the universe

Reality is lived existence, and the final reality resides within the individual. Existentialists believe that we live an alien, meaningless existence on a small planet in an unimportant galaxy in an indifferent universe. There is no ultimate meaning.
Existentialism
The world is chaotic, meaningless, and constantly in flux
We must embrace the utter absurdity and meaninglessness of life. One way to do this is through art. The only way we can exist, facing the meaninglessness of life, is to be artistically creative.
The subject does not exist as an absolute, we must therefore create ourselves, we must make our life art. If we do so, we reach the Nietzschean ideal, or Overman, the being who has achieved the very difficult project of making an artwork out of his life
Just because the world is inherently meaningless doesn't mean it doesn't have value. Value is something created by human beings, in the way we live our lives and through our relationships with things and other people. Our lives have value because we invest them with value. The ideal is the person who is self-overcoming, self-creating, the person who creates value, and makes an artwork out of his/her life
Friederich Nietzsche
Devout Christian, attacked conventional Christianity
Critical of science
Attacked Hegel for de-personalizing individuals by emphasizing thought, not the thinker
Individuals are confronted with choices in life that they alone make and must accept responsibility
The key for Kierkegaard is that he emphasized choice and the individual, which religious Idealists and Realist did not
Soren Kierkegaard
Precursors
Michel Foucault 1984
Jacques Derrida 2004
Jean Baudrillard 2007
Jacques Lacan 1981
Post-Modern
Jean-Paul Sartre 1980
Simon De Beauvoir
Maxine Greene
Modern
Kierkegaard 1855
Nietzsche 1900
Precursors
Existentialism
Idealism, realism, pragmatism, and existentialism represent four major philosophical systems. They can influence individuals and societies in many ways.
As we discuss perennialism, essentialism, progressivism, and social reconstructionism, look for the links they have to the four schools of philosophy that we have considered.

See TeachSource Video Case 9.1 Philosophical Foundations of American Education: Four Philosophies in Action
Philosophies in Schools
These are NOT related to political parties. Rather, the similarity is that there is overlap between the philosophies.
The point is that there is overlap in these groupings
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that considers questions about the physical universe.

Axiology is concerned with the study of values, and in particular with two aspects: ethics and aesthetics. Ethics focuses on the ideas and beliefs that are valued by a society in a moral sense. Aesthetics is concerned with the appreciation of beauty and the determination of what constitutes beauty for a given society.

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that explores understanding or knowing. Thus, it is the study of the nature and origin of truth and knowledge.
Conclusion
In practice this means that teachers must be aware that they are not just transferring information from one source (themselves) to a target (the students).

Rather, whatever a teacher says can likely be interpreted in as many different ways as there are students in the class. It is therefore necessary that teachers take great care in the design and presentation of lessons to guide a student’s progress toward a particular concept.

Teaching from this perspective can be a fascinating experience for you as it affords the opportunity to stimulate student thinking and then watch as students make meaningful connections between the lesson and their own experiences.
Constructivism in the Classroom

However, unlike a blank slate onto which discrete bits of knowledge are added, the constructivist perspective suggests that people actively “build” their knowledge as new experiences are related to the previous experiences.

Thus, new knowledge is a combination of one’s previous knowledge and the current experience.
Constructivism
Constructivism The perspective that students “build” their knowledge as new experiences are related to previous experiences.

Constructivism emerged in the 20th century with potential for the way in which schools might facilitate learning.

As a philosophy, it represents an epistemology, an explanation of how people come to know what they know.
Constructivism
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
The classic representation of humanism has been that of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow asserts that human beings are motivated to meet a series of needs (see next slide).

Arranging those needs in a pyramid model, he suggested that our most basic needs are at the lower levels of the pyramid.

In the context of the hierarchy, a child who is hungry or who feels unsafe is simply not concerned about learning lessons in school. For that reason, schools offer breakfast programs, free and reduced-price lunch programs, after-school programs, and so forth.
Humanism in the Classroom
Humanism A philosophy that emphasizes the value and meaning of education rather than the mere dissemination and acquisition of facts.

Whether the manipulative nature of behaviorism led to the rise of humanism or whether behaviorism simply succumbed to changing social attitudes is a debate that could go on for many years to come.

What is interesting is that schools seem to be evolving a combination of the two. Computers have allowed many effective applications of programmed instruction, which are based on behaviorist principles. Simultaneously we see increased efforts toward “character education,” which is clearly humanistic.
Humanism
Teachers using a behaviorist approach would avoid punishing children at all costs.

Instead, children are reinforced for appropriate behavior and not reinforced for inappropriate behaviors.

Those reinforcements may initially take the form of extrinsic rewards such as gold stars, praise, treats, or items selected from the “treasure box.”

The goal, however, is to gradually replace the extrinsic rewards for intrinsic rewards. Intrinsic rewards are feelings of accomplishment from a job well done or personally recognizing that one has learned or achieved to a high level.
Behaviorism in the Classroom
The roots of behaviorism are in the work of Ivan Pavlov in the early 1900s. He had conditioned dogs to respond to a stimulus that does not ordinarily cause the reflexive response. The procedure was therefore called reflexive conditioning.

B.F. Skinner extended classical conditioning to operant conditioning because the individual’s behavior “operated” on the environment. That is, an individual or an animal will perform a particular behavior depending upon the consequences of that behavior. If the behavior brings some sort of reinforcement— something the person wants—the probability of the behavior being repeated is increased.
The Roots of Behaviorism
Behaviorism The perspective that since behavior is caused, altering the surrounding circumstances alters the behavior.

John Watson, an influential American psychologist, suggested the following: “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take anyone at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select—doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief, and yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.”
Behaviorism
The practical expression of a philosophy is in terms of behavior. That is, since a person’s thoughts can’t be seen, their beliefs or philosophy become evident by the way they behave.

Thus, we offer three educational perspectives from psychology that have roots in philosophy:
behaviorism,
humanism, and
constructivism.
Psychology: The Pragmatics of Philosophy

Of the four educational philosophies discussed, which one do you feel should guide what is done in school?

A)Perennialism
B)Essentialism
C)Progressivism
D)Social Reconstructionism
What is Your Opinion?

Social reconstructionism The perspective that schools are the agency for solving societal problems.

Proponents of social reconstructionism are reacting to the significant social problems that exist today (and “today” could have been 75 years ago or it could be as you read this text in the 21st century) and that threaten to unravel our culture and social system.

Social reconstructionism seems to be more of an antidote to social problems and uses the schools as part of the prescription.
Social Reconstructionism
Progressivism The philosophical focus on positive change that individuals with various educational backgrounds can provide.

Following the teachings of John Dewey, the progressivists adopted the perspective that people learn best from experiences that are meaningful in their lives.

Talk of disciplining the mind to pursue universal truths is replaced with talk of the relevance of life experience.

Progressivism had a high regard for the individual and embraced the pragmatist ideas of a scientific method in the development of thinking and the solving of problems, scientific or otherwise.
Progressivism
To provide an effective essentialist curriculum, teachers need to be subject-area specialists.

This is a contrast to the liberally educated teachers called for in the perennialist tradition, though very much in keeping with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 that mandates highly qualified and credentialed teachers in each subject area.

The contemporary emphasis on achievement testing is central to the essentialist approach. Similarly, the move toward “accountability” of students, teachers, and schools falls within the “academic rigor” advocated by an essentialist philosophy.
Essentialism in Schools
Essentialism The perspective that there are core skills and knowledge that all students should acquire.

Have you ever heard someone say that education needs to get back to the basics? That was a call for an essentialist curriculum.

Essentialism suggests there are core skills and knowledge that all students should acquire, skills that are essential for sustaining our social order.

It seeks to preserve a society’s cultural heritage.
Essentialism
The use of textbooks and lectures would be severely curtailed as students are engaged in seminars and debate.

Vocational training would be eliminated. The school is responsible for the cultivation of mental discipline that affords the ability to assume a lifelong quest for the truth.

Job training, in the perennialist view, is the responsibility of an employer.
Perennialism in Schools
For a perennialist perspective to survive in the 21st century and beyond, it may well be necessary to examine the truths of civilizations and societies that have not been “traditionally” included in the American portrait.

Subject matter is at the heart of education for the perennialist: Schools must focus on the skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening, particularly in the early grades so that students will be able to study the great works of literature, history, and philosophy in the later grades.

Drill-and-practice will prepare students for the intellectual challenges that await them.
Perennialism as an Educational Philosophy
Logic is concerned with the rules of reasoning.

Idealism is the philosophy of ideas. Its underlying theme is that the only true reality is that of ideas.

Realism explores what physical matter can tell us about ideas rather than asserting that only ideas exist.

Pragmatism, meaning “work,” is based on the notion that ideas must serve a useful purpose.

An existentialist perspective makes the switch from the mind understanding the universe to the mind creating the universe. The existentialist notion refers to the existence of a universe of your own making.
Conclusion

Which approach do you feel has been most prevalent in the classrooms you have experienced?

A)Behaviorism
B)Humanism
C)Constructivism
What is Your Opinion?

The tricks are in (1) selecting the appropriate reinforcer for the particular individual, and (2) deciding whether you are going to manipulate the behavior in your environment or the environment is going to manipulate your behavior.
The Roots of Behaviorism
From the social reconstructionist perspective, classroom teachers would have an affective emphasis and engage students in questions of moral dilemmas as a means to understanding the implications of one’s actions.

This echoes the ideas that were offered by the pragmatists.

It is important, however, to remember that the reconstructionists maintain an agenda of social reform rather than simply fostering problem-solving ability.
Social Reconstructionism in Schools
The progressivists were never successful in fashioning a statement of philosophy that spoke for the entire movement.

They did agree on aspects of the traditional school that they disliked, such as a textbook-based curriculum, teachers as disseminators of information rather than facilitators of thinking, and the school’s relative “distance” from the real world.

They also agreed on some of the things they favored, such as the child-centered curriculum, the teacher as a facilitator, and the stimulation of interest through direct experience.
Progressivism in Schools
Perennialism The perspective that certain ideas and truths transcend time and are prevalent in the great literature of the ages.

Perennialism has been referred to as a culturally conservative perspective because it is based on classic works and reveres the foundation laid by tradition. Universal truth is unaffected by pop culture or the circumstances of a given time.

There is stability and constancy in the perennialist approach.
Perennialism
Do you have a life philosophy, or are there "words of wisdom" you live by?
http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/24039/october-17-2005/the-word---truthiness
Idealism
Realism
Pragmatism
Existentialism
TRUTH
truth
Pragmatism: What is true is what works. It should be about looking for new ways to solve problems, it should be rooted in lived experiences.
See, I put it this way: that – for me – philosophy is fundamentally about our finite situation.
We can define that in terms of we’re beings towards death, we’re featherless two-legged linguistically conscious creatures born between urine and feces whose bodies will one day be the culinary delight of terrestrial worms. That’s us; we’re beings towards death.
At the same time, we have desire while we are organisms in space and time and so it’s desire in the face of death. And then, of course, you’ve got dogmatism, various attempts to hold on to certainty, various forms of idolatry. And you’ve got dialogue in the face of dogmatism. And then of course structurally and institutionally you have domination and you have democracy. You have attempts of people trying to render accountable elites, kings, queens, suzerains, corporate elites, politicians, trying to make these elites accountable to everyday people, to ordinary people. So if you’ve got on the one hand death, dogmatism, domination, and on the other you’ve got desire in the face of death, dialogue in the face of dogmatism, democracy in the face of domination, then philosophy itself becomes a critical disposition of wrestling with desire in the face of death, wrestling with dialogue in the face of dogmatism, and wrestling with democracy, trying to keep alive a very fragile democratic experiment in the face of structures of domination, patriarchy, white supremacy, imperial power, state power, all those concentrated forms of power that are not accountable to people who are affected by it.
http://www.stopsmilingonline.com/story_detail.php?id=1277&page=1
Idealism review
Where does knowledge come from?
From the Heavens
What is the purpose of school?
Study great literature of past
Self-realization: become who G(g)od meant you to be
Character development
The wise teacher helps the student come to understand what the teacher knows
What does the educated person look like?
They live virtuously
Seek wisdom
Think rationally and logically
Live consistently
Emphasize the world of ideas, not the physical or material world that will deceive you.
What is truth? Happiness!
I'm not in this world
To live up to your expectations
Neither are you here to live up to mine, yeah

I don't owe no one no obligation
No I don't mean none
So everything is fine, fine

I said, "I am that I am, I am, I am, I am
I am that I am, I am, I am, I am
I am that I am, I am, I am, I am
I am that I am, I am, I am, I am"

Don't underestimate my ability
Don't definate my character
Don't belittle my authority
It is time you recognized my quality

I said, "I am that I am, I am, I am, I am
I am that I am, I am, I am, I am"
I said, "I am that I am, I am, I am, I am
I am that I am, I am, I am, I am"

Learn to love to love your brother
Don't covet your neighbor
Flee from the city it's getting shitty
It is full of out-a-quity

I said, "I am that I am, I am, I am, I am
I am that I am, I am, I am, I am
I am that I am, I am, I am, I am"

I am the rock of the ages you cannot move I at all
I am the son of lightning you cannot move I at all
Son of Jacob cannot be moved at all

I am the son of Moses you can't move I at all
I am the son of David you cannot move I at all
I am a firm ripe diamond you cannot move I at all
You could a shed more tears you cannot move I at all

You could a full of evil you cannot move I at all
You could a try more nuttin' you cannot move I at all
And you can try make a something that can't move I at all
And could a come with ism you can't move I at all
And could come with skism that can't move I at all


Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/peter-tosh/i-am-that-i-am-lyrics/#j7Op9A2XxzGufF5f.99
What is Truth?
On your sticky note finish the following sentence stem:
Philosophy is.........
What you are about to see is an object. There is something in the picture, but the quality is poor. If you think you know what it is please do not say anything.
Do you have a life philosophy, or are there "words of wisdom" you live by?
Idealism
Realism
Pragmatism
Existentialism
TRUTH
truth
https://www.polleverywhere.com/free_text_polls/LTEwNTE3NzQyMA
http://www.cc.com/video-clips/63ite2/the-colbert-report-the-word---truthiness
It might seem crazy what I'm about to say
Sunshine she's here, you can take a break
I'm a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don't care baby by the way
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Casting Crowns "Voice of Truth"

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
The voice of truth says, "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth


McKeon's Modes of Thinking
Philosophical Health Check
This exercise mimics the philosophical concept of objective Truth. There is a universal truth, in this case that the cow exists. Not everyone knows the "Truth" or can see what is true, but it nonetheless exists.
A little boy of three sittin' on the floor
Looks up and says, "Daddy, what is war?"
"Son, that's when people fight and die"
The little boy of three says "Daddy, why?"
A young man of seventeen in Sunday school
Being taught the golden rule
And by the time another year has gone around
It may be his turn to lay his life down
Can you blame the voice of youth for asking
"What is truth?"
Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...
What is political philosophy?
Allegory of the Cave
Mumford and Sons-Cave
How does the allegory give us insight into Plato's conception of reality?
What are some other examples of "cave-like" thinking?
Listen to the song, read the lyrics, and add graffiti to the text
Now pass your text and add graffiti to someone's text.
Rene Descartes
How do you know you're real?
School of life: Descartes
8:48
3:03
Inception 4:33
The Matrix 3:07
Two groups: How can "Inception" and "The Matrix" teach us about the philosophy of Idealism?
Idealism and Education
Group 1: What does education look like from this perspective?
Group 2: What are the critiques of Idealism as it applies to education?
How does Descartes' work contribute to the philosophy of Idealism?
Aims of Education:
House of Cards: Ruthless Pragmatism
Thomas Kuhn
Tupac-Changes
Newton and Einstein
https://www.c-span.org/video/?154711-1/cornel-west-reader
Cornel West: 10:32-14:55
Dewey: Pragmatism for Democracy
Pragmatism and Education
Room: 5:00
Rorty on Dewey
8:37
Realism
Classic
Religous
Modern
Directions: Make an Acrostic poem for your philosophy. The poem should convey the major contributions to the philosophy of realism or idealism
Top Ten List:
Make a top 10 list for John Dewey
Realism
Existentialism
TRUTH
truth
Pragmatism
Darwin
James
Dewey
Who founded pragmatism?
Examined Life
Pragmatism and Education
Francis Bacon:
In 1620, around the time that people first began to look through microscopes, an English politician named Sir Francis Bacon developed a method for philosophers to use in weighing the truthfulness of knowledge.

While Bacon agreed with medieval thinkers that humans too often erred in interpreting what their five senses perceived, he also realized that people's sensory experiences provided the best possible means of making sense of the world. Because humans could incorrectly interpret anything they saw, heard, smelled, tasted, or felt, Bacon insisted that they must doubt everything before assuming its truth.
In order to test potential truths, or hypotheses, Bacon devised a method whereby scientists set up experiments to manipulate nature and attempt to prove their hypotheses wrong.

For example, in order to test the idea that sickness came from external causes, Bacon argued that scientists should expose healthy people to outside influences such as coldness, wetness, or other sick people to discover if any of these external variables resulted in more people getting sick.

Knowing that many different causes for sickness might be missed by humans who are unable or unwilling to perceive them, Bacon insisted that these experiments must be consistently repeated before truth could be known: a scientist must show that patients exposed to a specific variable more frequently got sick again, and again, and again.
Science tries to build true knowledge of how the world works. So, the truths that science aims at building are ones that reflect the way the natural world actually works.
Scientific Method
1. Huge gap between religious and scientific or secular realism
2. For the religious realist, matter is not important in itself unless it leads to something beyond itself. The prime reason to study nature is to transcend matter. For example, God, who is pure spirit, created the world. He created it out of nothing, but He put
himself into the world, giving it order, regularity, and design. By studying the world carefully and by discovering its order and regularity, we can come to know more about God.
3. Secular realists, in contrast, emphasize the sensory material world and its processes and patterns. Their approach is basically scientific. Stresses an understanding of the material world through the development of rigorous inquiry.

Methods of Education
1. Secular realists emphasize ordering and classifying knowledge, support scientific laws. They believe schools should teach fundamental facts about the universe.
2. Many realists support competency, accountability, and performance-based teaching. They emphasize scientific research and development in education, like brain-based research.

"And I find it kinda funny/I find it kinda sad/The dreams in which I'm dying/Are the best I've ever had." These lines are a great example of being aware that you are going to die. They mean that when someone dreams about dying, they are the best dreams they have had. This acknowledges the fact that they know they are going to die, and even imagine how sometimes."No expression, no expression/Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow/No tomorrow, no tomorrow." These lines show nothingness. There is no tomorrow until tomorrow happens and since you have "nothing" you do not have any expression.


Absurdism is the belief that nothing can explain or rationalize human behavior. Humans exist in a meaningless, irrational world and any search for order will bring them into direct conflict with this universe. The lines "When people run in circles/It's a very, very mad world mad world", are an example of absurdism. They are saying that when people search for order by going around and around the same thing, the world becomes disorderly and mad. It also shows that in the process of trying to find order, everything becomes even less unorganized.


Alienation is a part of existentialism because in order to find yourself, you must also isolate yourself from everyone else. "Went to school and I was very nervous/No one knew me, no one knew me/Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson/Look right through me, look right through me." These lines are an example of alienation because the speaker is isolating them self from school and the people in it. "I find it hard to tell you/
I find it hard to take." These lines are an example of the speaker almost wanting to tell someone else something, but decides not to because they cannot.


Absurdism
Nothingness and death
Alienation
Gary Jules' "Mad World"
Full transcript