Fifty Major Philosophers

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He also emphasized that education is a virtue, and that it should be congruent with the verses of the Holy Koran and the sayings of Mohammed, peace be upon him. Pedagogy, he argued, concerns what is in its essence a human process, and this meant that education cannot be properly practised except through humility, careful listening and the ability to respond on the basis of love and intimacy or collaboration among human beings. Education, he insisted, is an essentially logical process, and should therefore start from the simplest aspects of life and proceed towards the most complicated.

The job of the teacher is to explain even the most complex matters in the clearest terms. Pedagogy is, moreover, a moral process. Teachers should, therefore, have sympathy for their students, treat them kindly as if they were their sons, and guide and advise them. Teaching should not be a punitive process, but one of counselling. Teaching, Al-Ghazzali also explained, combines theory and practice.

Hence teachers should serve as live models for students in their words and behaviour. As a cultural process, education vitally contributes to the future of a society in which individuals and groups grow and progress. Students should be encouraged to cultivate good behaviour based on a sound system of such values as telling the truth, faith, honesty, humility and the avoidance of arrogance.

He emphasized that education is a total process that should take care of every aspect of human beings—intellectual, psychological, social, physical and spiritual. Teaching should be sensitively conducted, so that differences among students are recognized and they are helped to develop according to their own capacities and interests. Al-Ghazzali died in December Under his bed a paper was found containing the following stanza: Do not believe that this corpse you see is myself, I am spirit and this is naught but flesh.

I am a pearl which has left its shell deserted. It was my prison where I spent my time in grief. I am a bird and it was my cage when I had not flown forth and it is left as a token, praise be to God, who has now set me free. Nakamura, The Islamic text Society: Cambridge, Miskat Al-Anwar, translated by W.

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Further reading Carr, B. Fifty major thinkers on education 36 Encyclopaedia of Islam, London: Luzak, Smith, M. Watt, W. HANI A. Likewise, to preserve constant awareness of Him is to know joy without lapse, unending bliss, infinite rapture and delight. Born in Guadix during the first decade of the twelfth century, he practised medicine at Granada and was to become chief royal physician to the Muwahhid ruler, Abu Yaqub Yusuf, whom he served as a secretary for twenty years, eventually being appointed as a wazir Minister to his dynasty.

In this office, he was to be succeeded in , on his own recommendation, by his younger contemporary, Ibn Rushd Averroes , one of the most illustrious philosophers of Islam and the one destined to have most impact on European thought in the centuries to come. Ibn Tufayl continued in public and diplomatic service until his death, in Marrakesh, in During this period of Muslim Spain, philosophy and learning flourished, and scholars such as Ibn Tufayl, Ibn Rushd and the great physician Ibn Zuhr Avensoor enjoyed patronage in the highest circles.

Seville and Cordoba competed as great centres of learning and science. This is one of the most remarkable books of the Middle Ages, and was to be translated into Hebrew in the fourteenth century, Latin in the seventeenth, and subsequently into most European languages. English versions were made by the Quaker, G. Keith, in , and slightly later by C.

Ashwell and S. Hayy Ibn Yaqzan was admired by many distinguished figures during the Enlightenment period. The great German philosopher, Gottfried von Leibniz, knew it in its Latin translation and held it in high esteem. The book remains influential to this day. This title has great symbolic significance. Thus the book symbolically represents the theme that the human intellect partakes of the divine intellect, and hence has the capacity to know reality in its innermost truth, independently of prophetic revelations as recorded in the Scriptures.

This is in alignment with the philosophy of Neo- platonism, by which the doctrines presented in the book are considerably influenced. As a result of dissecting the deer, on its death, he comes to understand—through his own powers of observation and reflection— that death results from the dissolution of the union of spirit and body. The novel offers interesting views on several problems of great philosophical importance.

For example, is natural religion—religion, that is, without revelation— possible? The novel allows for this possibility in the most emphatic terms. Even if God had not revealed Himself through His prophets, He would have been discovered by scientists, mystics and philosophers through their studies of nature, the human self and the universe. By the study of nature, it should even be possible to arrive at such attributes of God as His wisdom and love. God is truly the unifying principle of the universe and the philosopher should have no trouble arriving at a proof of this truth.

The mystic, by delving deep within himself, is able to obtain a vision of God in the aspiration of his own soul. It becomes evident to him that God and the human spirit are akin to one another. The human spirit genuinely partakes of the divine spirit: hence the title Hayy Ibn Yaqzan.

It is only through the medium of the latter that we can have living experience of union with divine reality. The former, however, has the advantage of being expressible in words and hence of being communicable to others. However, his is a much wider conception of experience and reason than that of these later thinkers. His philosophy is a highly integrative one, in which a place is found for mystical experience as much as for ordinary sensory experience.

Dissertation: University of Malta, p.

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Ockley, London: Darf, Further reading Fakhry, M. Goodman, L. Nasr and O. Lawrence, L. Your children are begotten not to yourself alone, but to your country: not to your country alone, but to God…it is a duty incumbent on Statesmen and Churchmen alike to provide that there be a due supply of men qualified to educate the youth of the nation.

It is a public obligation in no way inferior, say, to the ordering of the army. They intended the New Learning not just for the clergy but for all Christian people, especially for princes and their tutors.


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They emphasized the formation of character and not the acquisition of knowledge per se. Named for St Erasmus, the martyred Bishop of Campania died c. AD , his illegitimacy troubled him so much that as late as he sought papal dispensation for the circumstances of his birth. He lost his parents due to the plague within a few months of each other in In retrospect, at any rate, he disliked all the schools which he attended. Sent first to the school at Gouda kept by Peter Winckel, later his guardian, he then went to the Catholic Choir School at Utrecht before going at the age of 9 to the school at Deventer, which was attached to the Church of St Lebuin where Alexander Hegius was headmaster and the famous scholar Sintheim was an assistant.

He complained later of harsh discipline and poor teaching, writing: It is the mark of a good teacher to stand towards his charge somewhat in the relation of a parent…. He will also in a sense become a boy again that he may draw his pupil to himself. Desiderius Erasmus — 41 Despite this, or perhaps because of this, he entered the Augustinian monastery of Emmaus at Stein near Gouda in and was ordained a priest in As a poor boy, the monastic life afforded him companionship and the leisure to study. His prolific production of literary works began when he was 18 with an Epitome of the Elegantiae Linguae Latinae of Laurentius Valla c.

In he wrote a formal epistle, De Contemptu Mundi, detailing the attractions of monastic life. But Erasmus was ambitious and was evidently glad to leave the monastery in for the service of Henry, Bishop of Cambrai and Chancellor of the Order of the Golden Fleece. This gave him the opportunity of studying at the University of Paris in the Faculty of Theology. He devoted himself to the classics and made a start in learning Greek.

After all, the humanists believed that the study of the classics led men to live righteous lives. In he declared: Latin erudition, however ample, is crippled and imperfect without Greek: we have in Latin at best some small streams and turbid pools, while they have the clearer springs and rivers flowing with gold. He returned to Paris and dedicated his collection of Adagia to Mountjoy in These were more than maxims in Latin and offered most contemporaries their first accessible overview of the classical past; there were twenty-six editions in his lifetime alone.

Driven from Paris by plague, he went to Orleans and then to Louvain where in he declined the Chair of Rhetoric. AD — , the learned Latin doctor whom Erasmus much admired. In late Erasmus was writing to the great printer Aldus Manutius about a new edition of his translations from Euripides when he was offered and accepted the chance to go to Venice himself and prepare an expanded collection of Adages. A year or so later he moved to Padua and went on to reach Rome by the spring of The only one of his books which is still read is probably The Praise of Folly Moriae Encomium which he appears to have composed in the space of seven days when he was staying in the house of Thomas More who had four children in England in ; the title was presumably a deliberate pun.

In this book he attacks national pride, professional conceit, and especially ecclesiastical abuses and the monastic orders. The book ends with the contention that organized religion is a form of folly and that true faith comes from the heart, not the head. AD 35— had already said it all. The concern was with the classics alone: There is…no discipline, no field of study,—whether music, architecture, agriculture or war—which may not prove of use to the teacher in expounding the Poets and Orators of antiquity.

The man of letters had to know how to deploy the spoken word especially as well as how to use language in writing. For I affirm that in the slight qualification the whole of attainable knowledge lies enclosed within the literary monuments of ancient Greece. He argued that there were three conditions which determine individual progress in learning: They are Nature, Training and Practice. By Nature, I mean, partly innate capacity for being trained, partly, native bent towards excellence.

By Training, I mean the skilled application of instruction and guidance. By Practice, the free exercise on our own part of that activity which has been implanted by Nature and is furthered by Training. The first part consisted of an extended vocabulary arranged to provide alternative words with which to elaborate a statement already made, the second different ways in which statements might be arranged. Desiderius Erasmus — 43 Erasmus left England in for Basle, where the great printing-house of Johann Froben was prepared to publish at its own expense his Letters of St Jerome, which had been a cherished project for twenty years.

The next years were to be restless. I wish that even the weakest woman should read the Gospel and the epistles of Paul. In the s as Erasmus continued to move around, from Louvain to Basle to Freiburg, and in the s when he returned to Basle, he remained a figure with a great reputation and continued to publish prolifically. He was concerned with the Ciceronian controversy in the mid s, advocating in a dialogue on Latinity which he called Ciceronianus that Latin should be the means of expression for modern living. In he published the most mature of his educational tracts De Pueris instituendis.

More suffered martyrdom and Erasmus sank into ineffectiveness. Ironically, this was the year when the best-known translator of the Bible into English, William Tyndale, was strangled and burnt at the stake at Vilvorde in Belgium as a heretic. Nichols, vol. Allen, Oxford, no. I, pp. Seebohm, The Oxford Reformers, 3rd edition, p. Russell, History of Western Philosophy, , p. Allen, 12 volumes, Oxford: Oxford University Press, Epistles of Erasmus, trans. Nichols, 3 volumes, London: Longman, — Thomson, ed. Adages, ed. Phillips, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Colloquies, ed.

Thompson, Chicago: Chicageo University Press, The Education of a Christian Prince, ed. Battles in Advocates of Reform, ed. Praise of Folly, trans. John Wilson, , Prometheus Books, Desiderius Erasmus — 45 Further reading The place of publication is London unless otherwise stated. Ackroyd, P. Adams, R. Bainton, R. Bolgar, R. Caspari, F. Charlton, K. Goodman, A. Hildebrand, H. Huizinga, J. MacConica, J. Perkinson, H. Russell, B. Schoeck, R. Seebohm, F. Sowards, J. Trapp, J. And teach reliably so that the result must come. And teach gently so that neither the teacher nor the pupils feel any difficulties or dislike; on the contrary, both find it very pleasant.

And teach thoroughly, not superficially, but bring everyone to a real education, noble manners and devout piety. Most of his countrymen remember his fate: a man who went into exile because of the situation in his country, a man who was ready to suffer for his beliefs. Persecution and exile are two topics that are very much alive in Czech collective memory. When independent Czechoslovakia came into existence, its first president, Thomas Masaryk, on his return from the USA, formulated his programme as developing the legacy of John Huss and Comenius.

Comenius was respected by Slovaks too because he was born on the Moravian-Slovak border, actually the same region as Masaryk. One generation later, many Czechs were leaving their country to escape first from the Nazi persecution and ten years later to avoid the Communist dictatorship. Again, they had Comenius in their mind as a man who did not let adverse conditions break him and who wanted to do something positive for his nation, wherever he was. But Comenius is much more than a model for exiled people. First, a word or two about his background.

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He lived in an interesting epoch when Europe split into two ideological spheres that came into conflict—the Mediterranean Spanish-Austrian Catholicism and the Northern civilization the Protestantism of the Netherlands, Scandinavia, northern Germany. Comenius felt attracted to the latter both in religion and as a model of society and culture.

The country from which he came was at that time not unimportant. Its borders enclosed large territories lost since then, with Silesia and Lausitz so that with its four million people it was nearly as big as England. Comenius had his first foreign experience when he was a young man—he went to study theology at Heidelberg, a rare chance for Czechs even in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His career as a clergyman of the Unity of Brethren the Moravians was soon broken by the Habsburg Government decree banning his church and expelling from the country anyone who did not bow to the new order.

And when he really had to leave he always found new friends to protect him and encourage him Leczynski and Radziwill in Poland, Geer in the Netherlands, Samuel Hartlib in England. He was an educator whose local view matured to a global vision. His vision of the world was rather tragic because in addition to the fact that he never was allowed to see his native country again, there were several other misfortunes in his life, such as the death of his first wife and both of his children, the loss of his library at Fulnek in , the destruction by fire of his lexicographical archives at Leszno in Poland, the death of his second wife, and last but not least the fact that just as he was being given a chance to reform education in England, with the support of some members of Parliament, a civil war broke out and he was obliged to leave.

In view of these peregrinations and various tribulations, the more admirable is his work. The tragic overtones colour solely his only work of fiction, The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart, in which the main character is a pilgrim, who encounters more folly than wisdom in the world. However, the bulk of his writings are educational works, and in them he gradually developed his vision from the idea of improving the pupils in the classroom to the idea of improving mankind in general.

In he started work on a set of textbooks that were to contribute to national education. He favoured the learning of Latin to make the study of European culture easier. His very first textbook, Janua linguarum reserata , was a success it was translated into a dozen languages , and so was the Gate of Tongues Unlocked and The School of Infancy—a book for mothers. In these works he developed the principles that pupils should be taught what interests them and what will later be useful for them.

Then he proceeded to the writing of the Great Didactic and elaborated his pansophic project, in which he defined the three sources of knowledge as senses, the reason and the Bible. The whole collection of his writings on education was brought out as Opera Didactica Omnia The universalization of knowledge was aimed at eliminating world tensions. Faber Fortunae, a tract on wisdom, was dedicated to the sons of his deceased political protector.

Panegyricus Carolo Gustavo is a treatise describing a righteous monarch. Then, in Czech, he wrote another book, with a still more sorrowful title, The Testament of the Dying Mother, the Unity of Brethren His last years were marked by an increase in mysticism. It is difficult to assess how much early modern education owes to Comenius—perhaps the new ideas would have arrived sooner or later anyway—but there can be no doubt that he was one of the pioneers.

As a thinker he in some respects was before his age: he was one of the first modern advocates of education for women, and he felt both a patriot and an international citizen. As a brave and honest person who kept his faith in adverse conditions one cannot but feel admiration for him. The Communist regime could not suppress interest in him but tried to deprive his teaching of all religious orientation.

Incidentally, even though the regime was proud of this intellectual, no-one was allowed to travel to Naarden in the Netherlands to pay homage to him at his grave he died on 15 November in Amsterdam. The song was banned and its singer could make a public appearance only twenty years later. But what an audience she had! Three-quarters of a million people at an open-air rally—a culmination of the Velvet Revolution in November And at the university in Olomouc Moravia , the thousands of students daily entering the Central Library, step across a metal inscription set in the floor of the entrance to this vast eighteenth-century building.

The quotation is reminiscent of the fact that after the Velvet Revolution in , the Artillery Armoury was converted into the university library. Note 1 Comenius, J. Keatinge, quote translated from the Czech by the author. Horn; afterwards much corrected and amended by J. Amos Commenii Orbis sensualium pictus: Joh. Keatinge, 2nd edn, London, A. Black, The School of Infancy, with an introduction by Ernest M. The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart, trans. New York: Paulist Press, Further reading Kyralova, M. Laurie, S. Murphy, D. Needham, J. Panek, J. Sadler, J. Spinka, M. Turnbull, G.

Wright, C. Young, R. On graduation he held academic posts at different times in Greek, Rhetoric and Moral Philosophy. He became the personal physician of Lord Shaftesbury in , and came to combine this with the role of tutor to his son, born in Shaftesbury removed himself to the Netherlands when he was accused of treason in , and Locke accompanied the household into exile. After the accession to the throne of William of Orange, Locke returned to England and held posts sufficiently well paid, and so little onerous, that he was able to publish the bulk of the work on which his reputation rests from onwards.

That body of work includes four letters on toleration the first published in , and An Essay Concerning Human Understanding , with further editions in and The Essay has come to be viewed as a classic Enlightenment text. Locke rejects the notion that human knowledge and moral capacity are innate, arguing that the individual should instead be regarded as a tabula rasa or blank sheet—literally an unmarked wax tablet—on which subsequent experience is imprinted.

Thus he is generally regarded as an essentially empiricist philosopher, one who is disposed to be impressed by the extent to which our understanding is delivered to us through our own senses and experience of the world. Locke rejects training children through what we would now call extrinsic motivation, that is by appealing to their desires and aversions. That is why corporal punishment is to be avoided as far as possible. But they derive also from the fact that such punishment works on the natural propensity to indulge pleasure, and to avoid pain, which is at all points to be opposed.

Children are to be educated, and not merely conditioned, and this means their faculty of reason is to be strengthened, and their capacity to resist their desires steadily increased. This twofold injunction makes sense of much that may seem odd to the modern reader. This is not the sort of thing we would expect to find in a modern book on education.


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And he is writing for the class of people whose sons their daughters are barely mentioned here are to grow up into gentlemen under the individual guidance of tutors: these people are interested in the wider question of how their offspring are to grow into satisfactory manhood, and not simply in their intellectual attainments.

So it is a mistake to focus exclusively on what Locke has to say about intellectual and moral development, as most introductions to his theory of education do,4 and ignore the rest of Some Thoughts as merely quaint. It is significant that Locke was an active medical practitioner. For example, he conducted what we would now call field-trials of cinchona, a predecessor of quinine, and recorded its effects on his patients.

Some Thoughts presents us with a thoroughly secular picture. The child is not born with the idea of God or of moral truths; he does not possess innate moral goodness just waiting to be liberated and activated. It is education that turns the self-centred, demanding—Locke has no romantic view of childhood—infant into the rounded young man. The picture is at the same time in many respects a traditional one. They are to learn these, like all else, not by being taught rules, but through practice.

If the occasion for practice does not occur naturally then it must be manufactured. The key is that the child should be brought to want to learn. There is no question of simply waiting for this to happen: it is to be engineered. The teaching of reading supplies an instructive case. The effect, apparently, was to make the object of this benign manipulation passionate to learn to read.

It was this refusal to trust children to want to learn naturally that so enraged Rousseau: People make a great fuss about discovering the best way to teach children to read. Locke would have them taught to read by means of dice. What a fine idea!

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And the pity of it! There is a better way than any of those, and one which is generally overlooked—it consists in the desire to learn. Locke is far from inhumane. But this is not child-centredness: the education he proposes has in view less the happy and fulfilled child than the civilized and accomplished adult the child will become. That adult will above all possess good habits, moral and otherwise. His modesty, and sympathy with the world of the child, are apparent throughout his text. But one would still want to put in a good word for peaches and plums.

All references are to Some Thoughts Concerning Education, unless otherwise indicated. Strawberries, gooseberries and cherries are however apparently safe. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Two Treatises of Government, Some Thoughts Concerning Education, Further reading Axtell, J.

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Stephens, R. Yolton, J. Education is designed to set it right. As a missionary in Georgia in —7 Wesley was influenced by Moravian immigrants and on his return to England they convinced him that salvation could only come by faith in Christ rather than in his own efforts and on 24 May he experienced an evangelical conversion. Thereafter as a travelling evangelist he organized religious societies which became a nationwide network serviced by lay preachers. From an annual conference of preachers laid down rules for the organization. Though claiming that he had not separated from the Church of England, in Wesley registered his Conference as a legal entity and began to conduct his own ordinations, initially for America.

After his death on 2 March Methodism developed into a new family of churches, dividing into several branches during the nineteenth century. Wesley was a prolific writer, though much of his output consisted of abridgements of other authors, tailored to his own views. His educational work has to be viewed in the light of his overriding religious concerns and beliefs after his conversion.

He cites Milton and the Pietist system at Jena but only for the principles of continuous education in one place and the constant presence of masters with the children, respectively. Rewards and punishments may be used, with physical chastisement if necessary. He explicitly rejected the view of Rousseau and others that human nature is naturally good. He rejected predestination and believed that human beings are given freedom by God to accept or reject salvation and can make progress in religious and moral achievement by preparing for and cultivating the gifts of grace.

Like Locke he rejected innate ideas and stressed the power of sense-impressions. Hence education has an important role in cultivating mental as well as moral and religious achievement. Education, therefore, is to be considered as reason learned at second-hand, which is, as far as it can [my italics], to supply the loss of original perfection.

Given his busy life and the relatively low status of his followers, it is not surprising that he failed to lead large-scale campaigns in the manner of Wilberforce and his associates. While he condemned the slave-trade and praised Sunday schools, his followers were more directly involved in these causes. This was largely also the case with education more generally. He founded a few charity schools himself and published a number of books for general and religious education including prayers, hymns and Bible extracts for children and a number of textbooks and selected texts for his Kingswood school.

In addition, he contributed to adult self-education by publications, book-lists for preachers and individual correspondence. This was designed as a kind of junior grammar school with a strong emphasis on religious nurture. Though aimed at the general Christian public it was later used increasingly to educate the sons and occasionally daughters of his travelling preachers. Like many evangelicals and other serious people, Wesley distrusted the old public schools for their dubious educational methods as well as their moral and religious failings.

He claimed that they were mostly situated near large towns and so open to corruption; children were admitted regardless of character; most of the masters had no more religion than their pupils. Instruction was poorly planned, with elementary work neglected in favour of Latin and Greek and the work was not properly graded in order of difficulty. But Kingswood combined seclusion with access to Bristol; only selected boarders were taken and would remain in the school without a break to avoid parental interference.

A plain diet was provided and mattresses instead of feather beds there is a parallel with Locke here. Occasionally a preacher had a short stay there and Wesley sometimes gave Oxford-style tutorials to preachers. Yet the school survived many vicissitudes, eventually becoming a modern public school. In the perspective of seventeenth-century and eighteenth-century suggestions for educational reform, Methodist and evangelical attitudes appear largely conservative, though with some modifications in terms of graded instruction and close supervision.

What stands out is their analysis of human nature as fallen and the concern for education as a necessary, if imperfect, instrument to prepare children for salvation. Traditional education must therefore be pursued in a religious context. This was clearly in opposition to the contemporary rise in optimism about human nature and what can be achieved by education alone. At Kingswood until late in the nineteenth century the office of Governor was held by elderly ministers who controlled management as well as religion and hampered the ability of headmasters to modernize the curriculum.

Like the Church of England and Nonconformists in the nineteenth century, Wesleyans aspired to educate their own people in elementary and secondary church schools and teacher training colleges. By the end of the century most Nonconformists had abandoned hope of denominational schools in favour of secular school board schools which would at least save their children from Anglican indoctrination. The Wesleyans, though divided on this issue, persisted longer with their own schools.

Wesley had praised Sunday schools, evidently hoping they would promote religion as well as education, and Wesleyans were prominent in founding them. Despite continuing attempts to combine education with a Wesleyan religious ethos, developments in Wesleyan educational institutions during the nineteenth century often seem to reflect the pressure of social aspirations as much as the religious aims inherited from Wesley.

Nevertheless, their persistence testified to a desire to insulate Methodists from worldly snares while fulfilling some of their social and educational ambitions, a significant aspect of nineteenth century church-based education. In America Methodism developed an extensive denominational college and university system impossible in Britain, though only the shortlived Cokesbury College seems to have followed the Kingswood pattern closely.

Ward, in Works, bicentennial edition, XIX, pp. Outler in Works, bicentennial edition, III, pp. Telford, VI, p. Curnock, reprinted , VII, pp. Neuburg, Popular Education. A History and Guide, Harmondsworth: Penguin, pp. Baker and R. N Curnock, London: Epworth Press, reprinted , vols. Telford, London: Epworth Press, , vols. The following items deal directly with education: Journal, ed.

Ward in Works, bicentennial edition, XIX, pp. Sermons, ed. Fifty major thinkers on education 60 Instructions for Children, London, M. Cooper, emphasizes doing all to the glory of God and repression of the passions. Farley, ; reprinted in Ives, Kingswood School, pp. Further reading Body, A.

Ives, A. Matthews, H. Naglee, D. Lang, Prince, J. Sangster, P. His father was a feckless watchmaker. His mother died a few days after his birth. Proud to be a citizen of his native city, he none the less left it as a young man, and later quarrelled, bitterly and publicly, with its rulers.

He lived most of his adult life as an outsider in France, where he became an ornament, as well as a thorn in the flesh, of its glittering cultural world. In —1 he was private tutor to the two sons of a minor nobleman of Lyons, but acknowledged that he had little aptitude for the job. The most important charge was that the author denied original sin. His output continued unabated. He produced a reasoned constitutional proposal for Poland, but devoted most of his energy to works of self-justification, which were published only posthumously.

But his sense that he was surrounded by people plotting to blacken his name had some foundation. He died at Ermenonville, his last place of retreat, in He held that knowledge comes from the senses, and that children should engage actively with a well-ordered environment, and learn by interacting with it. Since movement is crucial to this learning process, it should be encouraged from birth. Thus Rousseau was hostile to swaddling infants and to controlling toddlers with leading reins. That is my fundamental maxim.

Freedom must not degenerate into caprice. To be capricious and spoiled is to be mastered by impulse, by false dreams and unsatisfiable ambitions. Enduring happiness can be guaranteed to no one, but the truly free person has at least the inner resources to attain it. That pupils should be introduced to different topics in a particular order, corresponding to the development of their capacities, was not a novel insight of Rousseau. These headings disappeared from the final version, but serve as a guide to its structure. There Rousseau added a three- stage schema of ethical development: a in infancy and childhood the pupil should be ruled by necessity; b between childhood and puberty by utility; c from the advent of sexuality by morality During the period of negative education, the child is to be surrounded by an environment of artificial necessity, encountering obstacles which appear to be the inevitable outcome of his own behaviour, rather than willed by others.

Amour-propre involves reflexion. The tutor must ensure that his pupil, now entering society, interacts with others who are worthy of his interaction, who recognize in him what is worthy of recognition, and provide him with a true mirror of himself. Negative education made a virtue of delay. Rousseau held that children are incapable of moral as opposed to instrumental behaviour until puberty.

But only later, through imagination and amour-propre, do they come to recognize them as bearers of rights, entitled to justice. And only then, according to Rousseau, can they understand the idea of God. Rousseau stressed, against received Enlightenment wisdom, that there are fundamental physiological differences between men and women, which should be recognized by the allocation of complementary, rather than identical, roles to the two sexes, and reinforced by radically different kinds of education.

By the end of the century, its influence was felt throughout the Western world, though resistance to it was stronger in Catholic than in Protestant countries. Upper-class mothers were persuaded to breast-feed their children, instead of sending them to wet nurses. Others encouraged them, however fancifully, to acquire the skills of artisans. Among theorists, responses were mixed. Some held that Rousseau was unoriginal and derivative, others that he was absurdly utopian and extreme. But historians agree that his work had a powerful and lasting influence on theoretical debate throughout Europe.

According to the third charge, of totalitarianism, the tutor subjects the pupil to undignified deception and manipulation which must frustrate the ultimate aim of producing an autonomous adult. It could be responded that, without elaborate stage setting in childhood, the pupil will become the slave of whims, caprices and fashions before he has had a chance to develop his own personality and become truly master of himself. In this, the young lovers, once exposed to the corrupt world of Paris, did not reach a happy ending, but marital breakdown, adultery and separation. As a result, women would never reach moral or intellectual maturity, let alone political or economic independence.


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Bloom New York: Basic Books, p. All further page references are to this translation. Gagnebin, M. Masters, C. Bloom, New York: Basic Books, Further reading Cranston, M. Dent, N. Jimack, P. Leith, J. Wokler, R. Wollstonecraft, M. Wherein lies our hope? In education, and in nothing else. An academic philosopher at a provincial German university, he led an uneventful and orderly life but his writings transformed modern thought. He then spent eight years as a private tutor to the children of various wealthy families in the local area before returning to the university as a lecturer.

By this time he had published a number of treatises on various scientific and philosophical matters, but his fundamental contributions to philosophy began only in with the publication of the epoch-making Critique of Pure Reason, which dealt with the main problems of metaphysics and epistemology. Other major works soon followed, including the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and the Critique of Practical Reason , on moral philosophy, and the Critique of the Power of Judgment , on aesthetics. Kant died on 12 February Almost all philosophical developments since then have been in some way influenced by his work.

Despite a deep and abiding interest in the subject, Kant never wrote a systematic treatise on education. Rink, a former student. He argues that this could only be possible if the basic features of the world such as space, time and causality are dependent upon the essential nature of the mind. However, the deterministic, spatio-temporal world of our experience does not exhaust reality.

Human beings exist both in the phenomenal realm, as causally determined parts of the natural order, and in the noumenal realm, as potentially autonomous moral agents. Instead, the moral law is again a law that reason prescribes to itself. An act is morally worthy only if it is done purely for its own sake, and not if it is done, for example, out of habit, out of deference to religious or political authority, or as a means to satisfy some further end, such as a desire for happiness.

That is, according to Kant, the central fact about the moral law is that it is unconditionally obligatory. It must therefore constrain us simply in virtue of our rationality, and not because of any particular desires or preferences we might have. Hence in following the moral law we are moved to act solely by that which is essential to us, namely our reason, and are thereby autonomous. Kant further argues that for the moral law to be unconditional in this way it must be able to be consistently universalized, or in other words recognizable as binding by all rational beings, and must constrain us to respect the intrinsic value of all rational beings.

Kant thus sharply separates the sphere of nature from the sphere of morality, but he conceives of education as the process that links the two—that is, that leads the child from a state of compulsion by natural desire to a state of being able to perform the right act simply through an understanding that it is the right act. Hence, according to Kant, the ultimate aim of education should be the formation of moral character. In this he again shows the influence of Rousseau, but Kant has a very different conception of the origin and basis of morality from Rousseau, and thus has a correspondingly different account of what is involved in the development of moral character.

Moral character for Kant means the capacity to be motivated to act purely on the basis of a rational grasp of the moral law and not on the basis of some natural desire. Because he thus sees rationality as a necessary condition of morality, he holds that the child is neither naturally good nor naturally evil, but rather is naturally non-rational and thereby non-moral. The child does not begin life with a capacity for rational autonomy, but must be led to develop such a capacity through the process of education. This means that education cannot consist simply of the formation of certain habits for example, through rote learning , for acting from habit is not acting morally.

All education must be aimed at eventually leading children to think for themselves and become autonomous individuals capable of genuine moral action. He thus recommended the establishment of experimental schools in order to find the best methods for developing moral character in children, and was an enthusiastic supporter of the educational reformer J. Although Kant does not attempt to offer much in the way of concrete proposals for educational reform, he does provide a general outline of the process of education, as involving the three components of nurture, discipline, and instruction or cultivation.

At the earliest ages children require only nurture. That is, they must have their natural needs for such things as food, warmth and affection met. As they grow older, they begin to require discipline. If children were left to themselves they would remain animals, acting on whatever immediate impulse they felt, and would never become teachable. They must therefore be forced to restrain their desires as a necessary precondition for the development of their rationality, but such compulsion must be kept to the minimum.

Kant thus argues, unlike Rousseau, that public education in schools is better than private education at home, for in school children will have more opportunity to interact with, and learn to respect the autonomy of others. The remaining component of education is instruction or cultivation. Children must develop their capacities for thought and understanding, and learn the skills and knowledge they will require as adults.

Throughout such instruction children must not be taught just to do things mechanically, but must always be led to understand the point of what they are doing. For this purpose Kant tentatively recommends the use of the Socratic method of question and answer, and also suggests that the teaching of theory be united with practice. Most importantly, this component of education will also include moral instruction, or the inculcation of habits of performing outwardly right actions.

Of course acting from such habits does not constitute genuine moral behaviour, but it is an important first step towards it. In the final part of moral instruction children must be led to understand the unconditional value of morality, and thus as it were reestablish their habits of right action on the correct foundation. This is the ultimate aim of education, and all prior discipline and instruction should be directed at leading children to take for themselves this final step into autonomy and genuine adulthood.

In aiming to develop moral character in the individual, the process of education thereby also aims at the development of an ideal political community. For someone who acts from an understanding of the moral law thereby wills a state of affairs in which the autonomy of all rational beings is respected and fulfilled. Such a state of affairs would be a political community with laws that corresponded to moral demands and this, Kant argues, would involve the organization of the polity on liberal and republican principles.

With the typical optimism of the Enlightenment, he sees history as the story of the human race struggling to perfect itself through its own efforts—passing from a state of barbarism to a state of civilization and finally, at some distant point in the future, achieving a state of genuine moral community and perfect political organization. Education thus has the momentous task not only of developing the moral character of the individual but also, in virtue of that, of working towards the perfecting of the human race.

Notes 1 I. Kant, Lectures on ethics, trans. Infield: New York, Harper and Row, p. Rousseau, The Social Contract, trans. Cole, London: Everyman, Book 1, chapter 8, Deutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften, 29 vols, Berlin, de Gruyter, — Recommended English translations of his major works are as follows. Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Guyer and A.

Wood, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Practical Philosophy, trans. Gregor, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Critique of the Power of Judgment, trans. Guyer, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Lectures on Ethics, trans. Schneewind and P. Heath, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Political Writings, ed.

Reiss, trans. Nisbet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2nd edn, Fifty major thinkers on education 70 Further reading Beck, L. Crittenden, P. Frankena, W. Herman, B. ADAM B. Das Leben bildet. The ideal the young republicans stood for was a paternalistic, virtuous and aristocratic republic, where education would be integral to political understanding. In he went to Berne to begin an apprenticeship in modern farming. Berne was an agricultural republic and the Bernese believed themselves to be the true heirs of the Roman Republic. The Bernese reformers were politically not as radical as those in Zurich and focused mainly on the improvement of agricultural production.

After buying land for a farm of his own, he fell victim to the disastrous European crop failure of —2. That is the reason he installed looms in the cellar of his farmhouse, employing the poor of the neighbouring villages to weave cotton at low wages. Faced with the growing poverty around him, he decided to establish an institution for poor children in The idea was that children would support their own cost of living while working in cotton production, and Pestalozzi promised to teach the children the basic knowledge needed by poor people.

However, the failure of the children to be able to support themselves led to the collapse of the institution in His plea for a commercial basis to solve the problem of poverty prompted Pestalozzi to contact the most important Swiss journalist and editor of the eighteenth century, the philosopher and philanthropist Isaak Iselin. For more than a decade the relationship between our natural and our social state became the dominant topic of his thinking. His scepticism towards human nature grew and he dropped the optimistic, religiously tempered natural-rights republicanism of his deceased mentor.

Man was regarded as a wild animal, selfish, pre- and basically anti-social, and education therefore was mainly identified with socializing by apprenticeship and with the function of preparing people for work. The social function of religion was limited to fostering harmony between the different social classes. After the French Revolution of , Pestalozzi focused on the meaning and role of freedom. In he published his most important philosophical work, the Nachforschungen, where he draws a parallel between individual development and that of the human species.

On this basis, he tried to solve the fundamental social problems by proposing a third, inward state as the true solution of the conflict between the state of nature and the state of society. This state of inner morality is indebted to his view of true Christian religion and is advocated particularly for political leaders, since the temptation to abuse power seemed to Pestalozzi to be the major problem of social life.

He rejected the idea of egalitarian democracy on the grounds that people were insufficiently educated and hence excessively selfish. Attainment of the state of morality would require, therefore, an early and complete socialization into the state of society in order to counteract this selfishness and promote strength of will. For this destruction of egoism, education in the family is crucial, for love is the central emotion within the familial context, and it is this which enables the child to foster its original good will.

Strength of will is necessary for making judgments where there are conflicts between a feeling of injustice and love or altruism. The state of inner morality is necessary, therefore, if men are to decide and act in a moral way. Confident that this revolution would re-establish the old virtuous republic, and convinced of the moral integrity of the new leaders, he soon outlined a plan for an industrial institute for the children of the poor.

Sent by the new government to Stans, Pestalozzi spent seven months in a convent trying to establish and organize an institute until the building was requisitioned by French troops in June The basis of this assessment is a letter, published in , in which Pestalozzi advocated, on the basis of his experience with the children, a new three- stage educational system. The first and basic stage is family life, where the main goal is to open the hearts of children by satisfying their basic needs. The second stage aims to encourage the practice, in everyday life, of the altruistic impulses inspired at the first stage.

The third step introduces reflection on this everyday life, enabling children to understand what moral judgment is. There are at least two central and, perhaps, somewhat opposed elements to be considered. Politics, indeed, cannot be fundamental, since good politics is impossible unless people are first morally educated. This conclusion indicates a total inversion of the old republican doctrine. According to this inversion, it is not the Prince, but the mother, who is a moral leader.

She becomes the pivotal point between God, children and the world outside the Wohnstube. Let us stay human beings and not forget the concerns of mankind until our death. The full text of this article hosted at iucr. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account.

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