Questions and Answers
Philosophy of education is about philosophical reflection on the nature, aims, and problems of education. The philosophy of education is Janus-faced, looking both inward to the parent discipline of philosophy and outward to educational practice. (In this respect it is like other areas of “applied” philosophy, such as the philosophy of law, the philosophy of science, and the philosophy of medicine, including bioethics.) This dual focus requires it to work on both sides of the traditional divide between theory and practice, taking as its subject matter both basic philosophical issues (e.g., the nature of knowledge) and more specific issues arising from educational practice (e.g., the desirability of standardized testing). These practical issues in turn have implications for a variety of long-standing philosophical problems in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and political philosophy. In addressing these many issues and problems, the philosopher of education strives for conceptual clarity, argumentative rigour, and informed valuation.
Philosophy of education is a field of applied philosophy, drawing from the traditional fields of philosophy (ontology, ethics, epistemology, etc.) and its approaches (speculative philosophy, prescriptive, and/or analytic) to address questions regarding education policy, human development, and curriculum theory, to name a few. Put another way, philosophy of education is the philosophical study of the purpose, process, nature and ideals of education. For example, it might study what constitutes upbringing and education, the values and norms revealed through upbringing and educational practices, the limits and legitimization of education as an academic discipline, and the relation between educational theory and practice.
Philosophy of education can be considered a branch of both philosophy and education. The multiple ways of conceiving education coupled with the multiple fields and approaches of philosophy make philosophy of education not only a very diverse field but also one that is not easily defined. Although there is overlap, philosophy of education should not be conflated with educational theory, which is not defined specifically by the application of philosophy to questions in education.
Although philosophers around the world have asked questions regarding education for millennia, as an academic discipline with its own place in the university it is relatively new. Nonetheless, it is an internationally well-established field, with departments and programs around the world.
Ordinary language philosophy the philosophical study of everyday language of life spoken by the average individual. It is a contemporary movement started in large part by Wittgenstein, although Locke and G.E. Moore are credited with setting its background. John Wisdom, Gilbert Ryle, P.F. Stawson, J.O. Urmson, Norman Malcolm, and J.L. Austin are all contributors to ordinary language philosophy.
Ordinary language philosophy is a reaction against reformists such as Russell who claim that ideal language is needed to avoid the ambiguities, vagueness and vacuousness of terms. Ordinary language philosophers argue that this does not clarify the problem, but makes the language more remote and problematic. By contrast, ordinary language philosophy examines the way common language is used, and critiques the technical speech or jargon used when discussing philosophical problems. Even certain everyday terms become misused in philosophical language. Thus, many classic philosophical problems can be solved by returning to the use of the everyday meanings of words.
Diwali message of Swami Swaroopananda – Chinmaya Mission
Philosophy Of Education
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