The Islamic Perspective of Values in the Positivist Educational Philosophies

Article excerpt

[Abstract] The purpose of this study was to infer the educational values in positivist educational philosophies from one side, and the Islamic perspective related on the other. The researcher followed the integrative approach and applied the technique of the descriptive approach. The study addressed the values contained in the positivist educational philosophies via the logical sequence of ideas. Also, the study used an extrapolate approach to infer the educational values in the Holy Qur'an and Holy Sunna using content analysis. Results of the study indicated that there is a significant variation among the positivist educational philosophies because such educational philosophies depend mainly on human sources or must be perceived by the human brain in advance via experimentation and verification to be considered valid. As for its consistency with the Islamic perspective, one can see that such consistency is only in form, mainly in the labels used, while the main contradiction is found in the sources and objectives of the values. Islam links values with Shari'a (Islamic legislation) as the main source for improvement, and this is not left to humans to think about and verify by their minds. There is a necessary need to differentiate between values in the Islamic perspective and dominant values in the western communities with respect to their sources and objectives, even if we admire them.

[Keywords] Islamic perspective; positivism; values in education; educational philosophy; cross-cultural analysis of values; a priori knowledge; comparison of origins of knowledge

Introduction

Axiology is one of the oldest fields of study. It is tracked back to the ancient Greek philosophy, especially with the great Greek philosophers such as Socrates and Plato. This field of study was present in the Medieval Ages, both in the Islamic and Christian arena. Recently, Kant addressed the relation between values and cognition. In the 19th century, various fields of study investigated values from different perspectives. In the 20th century, Poll Lappy was one of the early scholars to use the term Axiology, and the same term was used by Hartman in 1906 (Mohammed, 1999).

Aesthetics investigate the terms necessary to achieve aesthete. Thus, normative sciences presume the presence of suitable value for each, but they do not investigate in the nature of value, rather consider the conditions leading to the accomplishment of them. As for the mere study of value and the investigation in the meaning of its existence, this field of study is a recent topic, and it has drawn the attention of many scholars in the recent years (Bakra, 1992, Matter, 1976).

Values have a strong and direct link with human behaviors. Values guide and drive human behaviors in all aspects of life .Values fuel the different human activities and the different social, economical and political arrangements. As such, values can be said to be the link between an individual and his world. They shape the manner the individual perceives himself and the other members in the community in which he lives, the way he sees his behavior and his status in his community (Afifi, 1974).

Values are, therefore, vital both for the community and the individuals living in it. In his daily contact with other members of the community, an individual needs value to deal with different life events. Norms and values one adopts are the main driver of actions and behaviors. As for the community, values are the main source in the organization of its ideals and objectives so that a contraction is not established between the different ideals and objectives and the value system adopted in the community. If this was the case, a contradiction between the value system and objectives, ideals in the community, a value and social struggle will be the ultimate consequence, leading eventually to the collapse of the whole community (Hendi, 1990). The competitive advantage for any nation does not lie in its material potentials, the competitive advantage lies in the ethics and value this nation has (Al Smadi, 1997). …