Philosophy of Education: Essays and Commentaries

By Hobert W. Burns; Charles J. Brauner | Go to book overview
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2. The evaluative, or critical, phase which involves the close inspection of those criteria, the identification and inspection of alternative criteria, and the assessment of each (the latter evidently conducted in terms of an unspecified metacritical criterion)
3. The speculative, or hypothetical, phase which involves the framing of new alternatives for the conduct of education through this prior examination and synthesis of older standards and practices
The distinctive nature of the discipline of the philosophy of education, then, is characterized by (1) the possession of theoretical tools and techniques which are common to all philosophy, (2) the use of these to make and evaluate decisions particularly pertinent to the field of education, and (3) its unique dependence upon education as the designated subject-matter area for these theoretical operations.
The Distinctive Nature of the Discipline of the Philosophy of Education
A Statement by the Philosophy of Education Society *We make a distinction between disciplines or modes of inquiry such as psychology, sociology, administration, engineering and philosophy, and the persons who utilize these disciplines. Our attention is to the disciplines persons employ rather than to the persons who employ the disciplines.What philosophy of education ought to be and do is a highly debatable matter insofar as differing answers come from differing philosophical positions. This statement, therefore, attempts only to delineate the basic, common, or minimal characteristics of the discipline within which we find these differing answers and positions.A. The various philosophies--philosophy of education, art, science, politics, religion and history among them-- share three characteristics which help distinguish philosophy from other fields of endeavor:
1. Unique theoretical tools consisting of hypotheses, concepts and categories (such as meaning, truth, value, method).
2. The employment of these tools in the examination of the criteria, assumptions and/or reasons which guide assessments, judgments and choices.
This statement was prepared by the Committee on the Nature and Function of the Discipline of the Philosophy of Education, of The Philosophy of Education Society, composed of the following members: Nathaniel Champlin, Chairman, Wayne State University; David Adams, Western Michigan University; Otto Krash, Hunter College; Robert Mason, University of Pittsburgh; and Francis Villemain, University of Toledo. The report of the Committee was adopted by the Society at its 1953 annual meeting. Reprinted by permission from Educational Theory, IV ( January, 1954), 1-3.


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