Philosophy and the American School: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education

By Van Cleve Morris | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FOUR
Comparative Ontology and the Educative Process

THE PROBLEM OF APPLICATION

Discussions in philosophy such as the preceding are necessarily oversimplifications of the complex and sometimes chaotic jumble of ideas that have been thought by men down through time. What we have tried to do in Chapter Three is to single out for special study and analysis those ideas which relate to the fundamental views of the world and the nature of ultimate reality as they have been formulated in five major philosophic outlooks. You are reminded again that these views are not so neatly dis- parate as we have been forced to make them appear here; our object is simply to separate ideas for the purpose of analysis and understanding.

The present chapter attempts another kind of analysis, that of showing how the various ontologies lead to different conceptions of the educative process. Later on, in Parts V and VI, it will be necessary to put these ideas back together again, not only for theoretical tidiness but to see how philosophies and educational theories finally come to operate in concrete educational practice in the day-to-day work of the school. When you reach these later chapters, you may wish to return to the present chapter (and also to Chapters Seven and Ten) to test and qualify what is said here.

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