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PHIL 115

Week 7 26/02/2013 07:27:00 “Knowledge is power to transform the world.” – John Dewey.  Knowledge doesn‟t give us the power, but rather the inclination to solve problems.  In politics, a given line of a school of thought is borne by the observation of a problem. Knowledge fosters this as it attempts to better the situation in a variety of ways.  Dewey‟s pragmatism is not as concerned with ends and unconcerned with means.  Next step: formulate a question that can produce an answer to a problem.  What is to be done? This is the general way of posing a question. How should we design a government budget that makes debt more manageable? Should we focus more on expense reduction or on tax/revenue increase?  A hypothesis is an answer to a question. “We should increase taxes on the richest by a few percent, eliminate loopholes that they can exploit, and increase corporate tax modestly.”  We must follow the progress of the hypothesis through all its terms, being the practical consequences mainly.  Will this solution create more problems? A bad hypothesis may resolve an immediate problem, but could create additional problems.  Scientific inquiry is an exemplar for intelligent thought.  Knowledge takes one methodology that underlines all other forms.  It is most clear in scientific laboratories.  Scientific knowledge is the capacity to solve empirical problems that arise from the course of ordinary human experience.  Inquiry should not be considered as something that only happens in an academic sense, but also in the discourse of ordinary rational thought. Philosophy of Education th The most influential original philosopher of education in the early 20 Century. This is the direct application of his theories of education and knowledge.  Education is not solely a means to an end. The end is knowledge, not some shallow perception of education that is so pervasive today, which generally precedes employment.  We are meant to enter the workforce without resistance.  The drive to undergo education is to ensure employment.  Nobody should be fearing unemployment and failure; the solution is to stay in the education system.  Education is no more than a means to an end than life is.  What happens in an educational institution should be no different than what happens in everyday experience.  The main problem with education is that we regard it solely as a means to an end. Though it is instrumental in our security of employment, knowledge is also an end.  Education must serve a higher purpose. It must not be economic, but more of a self-actualizing goal.  If we try to determine the mission of all education is, we have to refrain from doing what we always want to do: import values onto the learning process from without, rather than just identify the values within the learning processes themselves.  What Dewey is not going to do is prescribe what it should be. Instead, he describes what education is.  Education is not a stockpiling of information.  Further, knowledge =/= information February 27, 2013 Worries of education:  The problem with the inundation of children in education swamps their thinking.  Education should be the process by which we engage in inquiry.  Political argument; what type of people are we producing if we do not impart the knowledge of inquiry and arguments/opinions?  Future of democracy: Dewey believed that the school system would foster dumb people who would be caustic towards democratic discourse (anti- intellectualism, the current state of the US?)  By the time one reaches university, the experience of school is associated with boredom. Then again, it shouldn‟t be fully entertaining.  Education is supposed to be difficult and demanding. It is meant to grow the mind, which is not easy.  The intermediate between boring and interesting education is ideal. Why is it that motivation levels outside of the classroom are higher?  The nature of learning experiences outside of the institution are more valuable because we are genuinely interested what we deal with. o This is a chosen pursuit, and
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