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Essay on pragmatism vs idealism



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  1. Realism and its Role in Education
      • Teresa Hopson
        • XEF 501-Philosophy of Education
        • Professor: Dr. Percy Bland
        • Cheyney University
        • April 4, 2007
    • Overview of Presentation
      • Classical Realism
      • Modern Realism
      • Contemporary Realism
      • Aims of Realism in Education
      • Methods of Education
      • Curriculum
      • Role of the Teacher
      • Small activities throughout the presentation
      • Conclusion
    • Does Mars Exist?
    • Central Thesis
        • “ The most central thread of realism is what can be called the principle or thesis of independence .”
          • Objects exist whether or not there is a human mind to perceive them.
          • (pg. 48)
      • Difference between Plato and Aristotle The School of Athens, c.1511 by Raphael
        • Plato (428-347 B.C.)
        • Must study ideas
        • Truth and logic through the dialectic discourse
        • Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
        • Should study matter
        • Logic reasoning through his syllogism
      • Classical Realists
          • Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
            • Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
        • Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
            • “ A tree can exist without matter, but no matter can exist without form.”
              • (p. 49)
          • What might Aristotle ask of the Rock?
          • Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
              • What is humanity's purpose?
                • “ Because humans are the only creatures endowed with the ability to think, their purpose is to use this ability.”
                • (p. 50)
            • Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
                • Aristotle's Golden Mean :
                  • (a path between extremes)
                  • The person who follows a true purpose leads a rational life of moderation, avoiding extremes: the extremes of too little or too much.
                  • (p. 50)
              • Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
                  • Aristotle's Concept of the Four Causes:
                    • The Material Cause
                    • The Formal Cause
                    • The Efficient Cause
                    • The Final Cause
                • Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
                    • Like Plato, Aristotle was concerned with logic.
                      • The logical method he developed was the syllogism. which was his method for testing the truth of statements such as:
                      • All men are mortal
                      • Socrates is a man
                      • Therefore, Socrates is mortal. (p. 52)
                  • Aristotelian Influence
                      • Recognizing the need to study nature
                        • Using logical processes to examine the external world
                        • Organizing things into hierarchies
                        • Emphasizing the rational aspects of human nature
                    • Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
                        • First encountered the work of Aristotle while studying in Naples
                          • Attempted to reconcile Aristotelian philosophy with Christian doctrines
                          • Became a leading authority on Aristotle in the Middle Ages
                          • Author of De Magistro ( On the Teacher ) and Summa Theologica
                          • Highest good comes through thinking
                          • We are children of God; our thinking should agree with Christian tenets
                          • God made it possible to acquire true knowledge so that we may know Him better.
                      • Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
                          • Beliefs:
                            • -God is the Ultimate Teacher; only God can touch the soul.
                            • -A teacher can only 'point' the way to knowledge.
                            • -Teaching is a way to serve humankind; it is part of God's work. “Leading the student from ignorance to enlightenment is one of the greatest services one person can give to another.” (p.54)
                            • -The soul possesses an inner knowledge.
                            • -The major goal of education was the perfection of the human being and the ultimate reunion of the soul with God.
                        • Modern Realism
                          • Francis Bacon
                          • (1561-1626)
                          • John Locke
                          • (1632-1704)
                        • Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
                          • In Novum Organum. he challenged Aristotelian logic.
                          • Believed science was 'delayed' by Aristotelian thinking
                          • Past thinking flawed due to theological dogmatism and prior assumptions which led to false deductions (e.g. Galileo)
                          • Science must be concerned with inquiry and not pre-conceived notions.
                          • Science was a tool for creating new knowledge.
                          • Originator of the expression: “Knowledge is Power”
                        • Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
                          • Believed we should examine all previously accepted knowledge;
                          • We should rid ourselves of four idols that we 'bow down' before:
                          • Idol of the Den (beliefs due to limited experience)
                          • Idol of the Tribe (believing because most people believe)
                          • Idol of the Marketplace (beliefs due to misuse of words)
                          • Idol of the Theater (subjective beliefs colored by religion and personal philosophy)
                        • John Locke (1632-1704)
                          • Oxford scholar; medical researcher, physician
                          • No such things as innate ideas—mind at birth is a tabula rasa
                          • First great English empiricist
                          • All ideas are acquired from sources independent of the mind, through experience.
                          • Authored Some Thoughts Concerning Education
                          • Influenced the later writings of Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison (Wikipedia, 2007)
                          • “ The little and almost insensible impressions on our tender infancies have very important and lasting consequences." (Locke, 1690, Essay, p. 10)
                        • Contemporary Realism
                          • Alfred Whitehead (1861-1947)
                          • Hilary Putnam (1926-)
                          • Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
                          • John R. Searle (1932-)
                        • Alfred Whitehead and Bertrand Russell
                          • Both born in England
                          • Collaborated on mathematical writings
                          • Eventually came to teach in the United States
                          • Both wrote about education
                          • Co-authored Principia Mathematica
                        • Alfred Whitehead (1861-1947)
                          • Led to philosophy through the study of mathematics at age 63
                          • Tried to reconcile some aspects of Idealism with Realism
                          • Process is central to his philosophy—reality is a process.
                          • Philosophy is a search for a pattern in the universe: (Can a fish read?)
                          • The most important things to be learned are ideas .
                          • Education should be concerned with living ideas—ideas connected to the experience of learners.
                        • Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
                          • Student of Alfred Whitehead
                          • Taught at Cambridge, the University of California
                          • Imprisoned for pacifist activities
                          • Founded a school called Beacon Hill
                          • Two kinds of reality: hard data and soft data
                          • Education is key to a better way; we should be using our knowledge to erase some of the ills of society.
                        • Hilary Putnam (1926-)
                          • Taught at Northwestern, MIT, and finally Harvard
                          • The changes in science influence the philosophy of realism
                          • Coined the term 'internal realism'
                          • Physicists have introduced a 'cut' between the observer and the universe. The universe is too large and too complex for us to understand. Forced to observe universe with our own limited resources.
                          • Science will continue to influence the philosophy of realism
                        • John R. Searle (1932-)
                          • Accepts the traditional view of Realism
                          • Coined the term 'social reality'
                          • Does reality in the universe just consist of physical particles and fields of force?
                          • Social reality created by human consciousness
                        • Aims of Education
                          • Understanding the material world through inquiry
                          • A study of science and the scientific method
                          • A need to know the world in order to ensure survival
                          • Basic, essential knowledge with a no-nonsense approach
                          • Intellectually-gifted student is a precious resource
                          • Should use the Great Books of the Western World
                          • Adler's Paideia Proposal: school should be a one-track system, general (non-specialized), and non-vocational
                        • Methods of Education
                          • Not only facts, but method of arriving at facts
                          • Emphasis on critical reasoning through observation
                          • Supports formal ways of teaching
                          • Children should be given positive rewards (Locke)
                          • Precision and order: ringing bells, time periods, daily lesson plans, prepackaged curriculum materials
                          • Supports accountability and performance-based teaching
                          • Scientific research and development
                          • Most recent development: computer technology
                        • Curriculum
                            • Practical and useful
                              • Physical activity has educational value (Locke)
                              • Attention to the complete person (Locke)
                              • Extensive use of pictures (John Amos Comenius)
                              • Use of objects in education (Maria Montessori)
                              • Highly organized and systematic
                          • Role of the Teacher
                            • Realists emphasize the role of the teacher
                            • Should teach students what they need to survive
                            • At the very least, should teach the essentials
                            • Material presented in a systematic and organized way
                            • Humanities should be taught in ways that are conducive to cognitive development
                          • Main Activity
                              • There is a number in your folder.
                                • The number you have matches the question that you will answer.
                                • Conclusion
                                • “ The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.”
                                • Sydney J. Harris (American Journalist 1917-1986 )

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