In _Philosophers as Educators_ Brian Patrick Hendley argues that philosophers of education should reject their preoccupation with defining terms and analyzing concepts and embrace the philosophical task of constructing general theories of education. Hendley discusses in detail the educational philosophies of John Dewey, Bertrand Russell, and Alfred North Whitehead. He sees in these men excellent role models that contemporary philosophers might well follow. Hendley believes that, like these mentors, philosophers should take a more active, practical role in education. Dewey and (...) Russell ran their own schools, and Whitehead served as a university administrator and as a member of many committees created to study education. (shrink)
This present study began as the author's extension and application of ideas from Whitehead's work to the subject of education, using a chapter from Whitehead's book Science and the Modern World and a pamphlet, The Rhythm of Education as the starting point.
Hendley argues that philosophers of education should reject their preoccupation of the past 25_ _years with defining terms and analyzing concepts and once again embrace the philosophical task of constructing general theories of education. Exemplars of that tradition are John Dewey, Bertrand Russell, and Alfred North Whitehead, who formulated theories of education that were tested. Dewey and Russell ran their own schools, and Whitehead served as a university administrator and as a member of many committees created to study education. After (...) providing a general introduction to the present state of educational philosophy, Hendley discusses in detail the educational philosophies of Dewey, Russell, and Whitehead. He sees in these men excellent role models that contemporary philosophers might well follow. Hendley believes that like these mentors, philosophers should take a more active, practical role in education. (shrink)
But though the illumination cast on the text by this approach may be only a narrow band of light, it is nevertheless a brilliant one. The hypotheses do in fact, it is shown, lend themselves to treatment as a constructive "metaphysics of unity" in which each stage of the argument explores some further aspect of any entity which is one. This is a topic of genuine concern to all philosophy. Whether we are atomists or Hegelian idealists, our thinking involves decisions (...) as to what constitutes an entity--a "real" unit of being. And once we establish certain conditions as necessary for the existence of anything that is to be some one thing, we find we have made a far reaching and systematic philosophic decision or discovery. The thesis here advanced, that Plato's eight successive discussions of "the one" constructively develop necessary aspects of any unit that can exist, thus relates a problem of Platonic scholarship to philosophy more generally. (shrink)
The author explores the theory that cosmic evolution leads to successive new, stratified kinds of time. Each lower level sets limits to and provides conditions for levels that are higher, but there is no complete reducibility of causal explanation of higher levels to lower. This account of evolution argues that rest is later than, and is derived from, an original state of constant motion. The derivation ends with the advent of the permanent stability of abstract concepts recognized by mind.
But this is only half of the picture. Plato makes sense to the modern American reader because that reader is influenced by a physics and cosmology radically Platonic in historic origin and in content; and because he is influenced by mathematics and formal logic which are producing challenging original speculation, and which are of a Platonic character both in genesis and nature.
This study of Western philosophic systems, their types, history, relations, and projected future in the next half century, stems from Robert S. Brumbaugh’s forty-year fascination with the paradox of the many consistent overarching systems of ideas that are nevertheless mutually exclusive. Brumbaugh argues that when we isolate these systems’s patterns and look at them more abstractly, they consistently fall into four main types, and the interaction of these four types of explanation and order is a dominant theme in the history (...) of Western philosophy. In Brumbaugh’s view these four philosophic systems are not, as some critical historians and thinkers have claimed, so different that they are mutually unintelligible, forcing us to make a choice among them that is entirely arbitrary. But neither are they, as a majority of past thinkers and historians have hoped, simply parts of some single "right" or "orthodox" scheme. Their mutual understanding requires a method of transformation that interprets one to another without destroying their diversity. The history of Western philosophy from the fifth century A.D. to the present shows a pattern of alternating revolutions in systematic method and direction of explanation. Brumbaugh feels that the pattern is continuing in a change toward a revised Platonism, just beginning with the twenty-first century. He anticipates that it will be a Platonism of a new texture, one that has matured and learned a great deal in the course of the adventures of its ideas through space and time. (shrink)
THE PURPOSE of this discussion is a double one. I want to show, in the first place, how a Platonic attempt to describe the structures of time that we encounter in becoming presupposes a reference to the more stable structures of the realm of being. The result of this presupposition is a temptation to substitute the more stable forms for the less intellectually congenial ones, thus turning "time" into a dimension of space or a series of arithmetical "units." This can (...) only be corrected by reversing normal Platonic "explanatory direction" and generating the appearances of time on the several levels of the Platonic cosmos by adding increments of nonbeing and irregularity to the pure forms of arithmetic and geometry. In the second place, this Platonic generation shows exactly why an appeal to the structure of language is of no help whatever in determining the nature of time, real or apparent. Because the attempt is so often made to start with language structure as a key to time, I consider my demonstration that this is misguided an important one. I concede that my discussion of the issue is not indifferent to system-frames, but radically Platonic. The reason is in part the elegance with which the Platonic system locates talking about time on the level of eikasia, the realm of shadows on the wall of Plato’s Cave. (shrink)
There is no agreement at all, however, among translators, editors, and scholars, as to what is the number of problems that Aristotle proposes, nor what are the relations of importance among them. The list is given sometimes as fourteen or fifteen, sometimes as six, as nine, as twelve, as eight, and various other numbers. To a reader remembering the meticulous detail with which Aristotle told his students just how to construct topical notebooks and outlines, it seems quite unthinkable that he (...) could have poured this maze of problems over his audience like a bath-attendant, and left them to shift for themselves in discovering its intended organization. A priori, therefore, we would expect some indication within Aristotle's text of the coordination and subordination of his set of problems. (shrink)
Whitehead's brilliant analysis of the problems of the modern world concluded, you will recall, that our century is one in which progress and welfare require—and require to an unprecedented degree—redesign of our basic inherited "common sense" conceptions. We are trapped and hindered in our thought and planning by unrealistic and outmoded notions: of location, of duration, of education, of social progress, of beauty, of religion. I am convinced that he was right; but how many of us have thought about the (...) implications of his criticism of simple location toward, for instance, the designs and types of map that we use in textbooks for our elementary schools? We have not seen the need for sustained attention to this sort of problem. (shrink)
The directions for constructing the figure are to take a line cut into two unequal parts, and cut each part in the same ratio. The proportions of the lengths of segments to one another will then represent the "relative clarity" of each of four kinds of knowledge, and Book vi. closes with a summary of these proportions. If we letter the four segments from top to bottom a, b, c, and d, their relation is a:b :: c:d. From the context, (...) it is quite clear that these four segments are unequal. However, if any line is cut in a ratio m/n, and its segments subdivided in that same ratio, two of the resulting segments will be equal, and their ratio 1:1. However, this is the construction explicitly given in the directions. (shrink)
I myself became interested in textual work when I began checking the logical rigor of Plato’s Parmenides hypotheses. To my great surprise, the proof patterns were not simply valid, but as woodenly uniform and rigorous as Euclid’s Elements. Such rigor was exactly what a Neo-Platonist like Proclus would have expected, admired, and possibly imposed; it is not paralleled anywhere else in Plato. At that time, it was believed that the three primary manuscripts containing this dialogue—Oxford B, Venice T, and Vienna (...) W—came from a common archetype of a date as late as the fifth century, and that the only other records of the text of any extent—the lemmata in Proclus’ Commentary and the quoted passages in Damascius’ Problems—were, or at least could be, equally late. Only some evidence that the text as the ninth century manuscripts have it had been in this rigid form before the fifth century could finally settle the question of whether it was Plato’s own or that plus stringent re-styling. I thought that if there were traces of independent descent from some earlier archetype or archetypes, a dragnet technique applied to a collection of all the reported variant readings ought to catch them. (shrink)
As a beginning, consider the perennial ethical and legal problem of freedom versus determinism. But now put this in the context of the relation of expert testimony to criminal law. As psychiatry and social science develop greater explanatory power, we seem destined to an extension of the defense of irresistible impulse to any criminal action. A legal psychology which talks about "a corrupt will" will run the risk of being dismissed as an "unscientific anachronism," and jurisprudence will be replaced by (...) sociology. (shrink)