Philosophy of education

Philosophy of education

Philosophy is derived form two Latin words. Philo and Sophia. Philo means “love” and sophia means “wisdom”. It means love for wisdom. Wisdom is the only quality due to which human beings are different fro0….                                                                                                                                          m animals. Every act or every activity has its own philosophy behind it. For example, the philosophy behind offering prayers is submission to God. While doing anything we use our brain and for this purpose, we use our wisdom or intellectual ability in which many things are involved.

i.                 Thinking
ii.               Planning
iii.             Decision making
iv.             Evaluation
v.               Observation
vi.             Selecting and rejecting
vii.           Concluding
viii.         Comparing and contrasting
ix.              Analyzing
x.                Assessing
xi.              Arguing
xii.            Synthesizing
xiii.          Comprehension

Definition of philosophy:

Leighton A-J defines it as “ philosophy gives a world view of the whole cosmos and a life view of the human beings values and purpose of life”

Montage.S has defined it as “Philosophy is an attempt to give reason and conception of the whole universe and of man’s place in it”. So brief we can say that philosophy provides a comprehensive relationship of man with universe and the creator of the universe.

This term is defined by a number of people by a number of ways. Some say that philosophy is “love for knowledge” some call it “pursuit of knowledge” the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines the term “ philosophy” as “search for knowledge and understanding of the nature and meaning of the universe and of human life” it is the study of the principles on which human behaviour is based. The world’s famous encyclopedia “Encyclopedia Britannica has defined philosophy as” the critical examination of the grounds for fundamental beliefs and an analysis of the basic concepts employed in the expression of such beliefs. Philosophical inquiry is a central element in the intellectual history of many historical civilizations.  In the light of above definition, it is concluded that philosophy is search for knowledge, wisdom, and the realties of life and principles. It is concerned with the a search for the eternal truth.

Functions/scope of philosophy:

Philosophy is an important subject that enables man to understand the very purpose of his existence in comparison to the universe, other living and non-living things and above all this helps him in understanding the relationship with his creator. Different philosophers have elaborated these important aspects of the philosophy in the form of functions of philosophy. Putting all the views of these philosophers,

 we can conclude the following:

1.               Philosophy searches for truth and reality
2.               Philosophy determines all standard of morality
3.               Philosophy criticized all existing fields of knowledge
4.               Philosophy propagates methods of deep thinking
5.               It investigate the whole realm of knowledge
6.               It gives a comprehensive worldview of life
7.               It discusses in detail the vital problems and issues of life
8.               It presents effective theories for successful living
9.               It preaches humbleness
10.            It makes people open minded
11.            It develops positive and objective outlook towards life
12.            It makes people inquisitive, rational and wise.

1.               It searches for truth and reality:
The foundation of philosophy lies in its investigative nature. It tries to find out the root causes and foundational facts about everything. It questions about the nature of vital issues of life. A real philosopher never satisfied until he reaches the root causes. Plato famous quotation explains this point very nicely. He says “ it is enough to say that a thing is so but the real knowledge to know why it is so”. If say this plant is green, it is not true but if a say why it is green this the true form of knowledge.

2:         It determines all standard of morality:
This subject takes great interest in the moral nature of man. It has a separate well
Developed branch which purely studies the moral aspects of human life and is called
Ethics. It deals with expected moral behaviour of man.
Humanity and its existence due to the belief and practice of high standard of morality. This subject takes great interest in the moral nature of man. It has separate well-developed branch, which purely studies the moral aspects of human life and is called ethics. it deals with expected moral behaviour of man

3:         It criticizes all existing fields of knowledge:

We criticize for improvement. The purpose is to analysis. It means break down into pieces for improvement. Philosophy criticizes all fields of knowledge. Criticism is a process, which if carried out in a healthy manner always leads to improvement and betterment. It involves analysis if the existing situation in order to put forward suggestions for better results. Critical approach in life ensures success and high level of achievement. There are two main advantages of criticism;

1.               It brings better comprehension of the composition of the nature of things
2.               It leads to improvement by developing the existing knowledge.

Philosophy has greatly criticized the following main institutions of life

1.               Government

This institution is criticized in order to find out the best form of govt. democracy, dictatorship and many other forms are analyzed in order to guide people for the best way of serving people.

2.               Education

This is another institution criticized by philosophers. The main purpose is improvement of the standard and quality of education

3.               Religion

In order to promote clarity of concepts, values ,believes and religion has been targeted by the philosophers. They believe in that philosophical understanding of the views and believes  that strengthen the faith

4.               It propagates method of deep thinking

Philosophy by nature is a reflective subject, which promotes thinking of all degree. Thinking is the tool of philosophers. They get involve in extensive and intensive thinking. The following are the main methods of deep thinking developed by philosophers.

i.                 Reflective thinking is that form of thinking where reflection of the past or previous activities are expected
ii.               Reasoning is a process of finding out systematic arguments to support the existing statements. Solid reasons for all knowledge established its validity or truthfulness. Reasoning highlights the root causes, promotes logical discussions and analytical discussion.
iii.             Comparison and contrast, in order to understand the nature, similarity and differences comparison and contrast is done. Factual and conceptual types of knowledge can best be understand through this method.
iv.             Analysis and synthesis enable us to break down big concepts into pieces for the purpose of better understanding. Synthesis is that process of deep thinking where smaller concepts are put together to make bigger meaningful wholes.

5.               Philosophy investigates the whole realm of knowledge

It is a very vast subject. Instead of specialization it promotes the in-toto approach. It makes the knowledge of the total world through our senses, appears to be desptive, if it is not supported with deep thinking. A famous French philosopher Descarte says “ I think therefore I am” we can have knowledge of material things and concepts in an ideal way through deep thinking, reasoning and reflections along with the sensory knowledge. Permanence and breadth of knowledge is obtained through continuous and rigorous thinking.

6.               It gives a comprehensive world view of knowledge:

Philosophy as a subject over view all the aspects of life. The knowledge of philosophy gives us a whole sum picture of all the situation and features of life. The logic behind this function is that in order to study and understand the individual components we must look at the total scenario in order to understand the inter relationship of different aspects to each other. Philosophers have a strong belief that nothing exist in isolation. In order to appreciate its actual role we must understand the influences of different factors on each other.

7.         It discusses in detail the vital problems and issues of life

The key function of philosophy is to help people to lead a successful life, with this objective it tries its best to throw full light  on those problems and issues of life which are confronted by human beings throughout their life. The values, concepts, believes and the practical implication of them are the main subject of philosophy. The origin of universe, the beginning of life, the continuity of human races, the mechanisms of living are elaborated by this subject. The creator of the whole world and all his creations are thoroughly understand and elaborated as regards their functions and importance. This knowledge adds to the intellectual confidence and comprehension ability of people studying this subject.

8.     It presents effective theories for successful living

Philosophy concludes the intellectual efforts by presenting these in the form of concentrated theories, which can be applied at any time by any one. These theories are the essence of the whole subject of philosophy. The objective is to provide guidelines, understanding and ability to benefit and spend a successful life. These theories are the result of long experience, rigorous thinking and vast study of the relevant literature. The outstanding theories that are appreciated all over the world are idealism, realism, pragmatism, existentialism, humanism etc.

9.     It preaches humbleness

Philosophy provides the knowledge about the whole world by giving a true picture of the proportions. This enables us to understand his position in relation to the whole universe. The more we gain knowledge the more we grow thirsty for knowledge. Our ability to learn more and more makes us realize that our knowledge is not enough and absolute. We can practice humbleness in our every day life if we constantly remember our position in the trio of existence. Humbleness enables us to benefit form the experiences and theories of other people. This takes us on the road of improvement form good to better and better to best.

10.  It makes people open minded

Philosophy by virtue of its nature adds to the practical knowledge of its practionares. It develops an ability to judge everything in a non prejudiced manner. The open mindedness means broad mindedness and focusing on broad goals and long range objectives. Open minded people do not get disturb by petty issues. We should always try to look at ourselves in relation to the whole universe or the entire existing situation. We should develop a positive outlook and get red of all biases and prejudices. Open mindedness gives us strength to tolerate the negatives of life and helps us to enjoy the positive of life in a balanced way. Philosophy teaches us that we should not reject and criticize the cultures, traditions and language of others nations rather we should give them due respect and try to adopt their positive features. Open mindedness leads to progress and prosperity, 

11.  It develops positive and objective outlook towards life

Philosophy has one of its important function, develops objectivity and positives in our behaviour. If we remain objective we do not unnecessarily exaggerated situations. And we are not dominated by our personal likes and dislikes and preferences. Objective approach prevents us from getting emotional and confused. Whereas positive approach makes us optimist. Positive thinkers always take the bright sight of all aspects of life which keeps us encouraged and motivated. Positive thinkers always had the strength to face the hardships with the best utilization of their ability.

12.  It make people inquisitive, rational and wise

Wisdom is the ultimate quality to be developed by through philosophy. This quality expects a rational behaviour and an inquisitive attitude towards life. Inquisitiveness enables us to find out more and more about everything by asking questions about its nature, history, functions and importance. Satisfactory answers to these questions adds to our knowledge and makes us wise and educated. Wisdom is that state of mind, which accepts nothing without satisfactory set of reasons. Wisdom is always in search of truth and solid reasons. Philosophy gives us those skills and habits, which enables us to have a continuous addition to our wisdom and sources of information

Theories of philosophy presented by different philosophers
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