Philosophy Field Trip Realism Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1438 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Black Studies - Philosophy

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] This agreement is necessary because a belief is what one is prepared to act upon, and only actions based on beliefs that agree with the facts promise to head to the desired outcomes.

Pragmatists recognize that human beings are within nature rather than looking at nature from the outside in. Human beings interact with nature, and human intelligence is social. For individuals such as William James and John Dewey this led to a development of a moral psychology and a value theory from which Dewey created a philosophy of education which stressed that children should be involved with real life-tasks and challenges (Campbell, 1995).

A pragmatic field trip would be to a school to help the children build a playhouse for the playground. By building this house, they would be able to apply skills to use throughout their lives. For Dewey, curriculum is in the first place a social process in which the child and potentially the meaningful content are coordinated, linked and reconstructed continuously in relation to one other. Experience is the crux .

Idealism is the philosophy that argues that the only things knowable are consciousness or the contents of consciousness, rather than anything in the outside world. (if such a place really exists). In fact, idealism often attests that the only real things are mental not physical entities. George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was the greatest of all the German idealists, who methodically constructed a comprehensive system of thought about the world. His philosophical system included logic, psychology, religion, aesthetics, history and law. The motivating force and core of Hegel's thought was pantheism, where all existence and history are part of God's cosmic self-development.

God is absolute spirit, but he also desires to manifest himself and to know himself. So it is part of his essence to become real, in material things, in individuals and in the process of history and transformation. God is present and active in the real world. He acts through humans, and is conscious of himself through humans.

Hegel's text, the Phenomenology of Spirit, opened doors for philosophy to engage with human history. An interesting field trip with Hegel would be to the War in Iraq. Would he repeat his statement, "Peoples and governments never have learned anything from history or acted on principles deduced from it"? Or, would he stress his stance that war is a necessary movement of spirit as it evolved. War is the result of conflicts within spirit as it struggled to actualize the idea that "all are free" in history (Pippin, 1989).

Existentialism is a philosophical movement that stresses individual existence, freedom and choice. The main tenant of the different strains of Existentialism is that existence precedes essence. In other words: Man exists, and in that existence, man defines himself and the world in his own subjectivity and wanders between choice, freedom, and existential torment. Soren Kierkegaard was the first philosopher to use the term existentialism. He reacted against systematic rational philosophy, especially of Hegel, and supported the notion of a truth inside of the evolving self (Heidegger, 1956).

Subjectivity is essential to existentialism, as are emotional choices and actions. Personal experience and acting on personal convictions are critical to reaching truths. A better knowledge of a situation is gained when a person is in the middle of the action, than watching from the sidelines with a detached view. Systematic reasoning and acting is avoided at all costs. One learns from making choices, and committing to them. According to the existentialists, humanity's main distinction from other animals is its freedom to choose. There is no fixed instinct that drives humanity to do what it does. Choice is inescapable, not making choices is choosing to not choose. This field trip would be decided by each person. Everyone would be able to go to the place of his or her choosing.

Resources

Bradley, R.D. (1979). Possible Worlds: An Introduction to Logic and its Philosophy Indianapolis: Hackett.

Campbell, J. (1995) Understanding John Dewey. Nature and co-operative intelligence,

Chicago: Open Court.

Heidegger, Martin. (1956) The Way Back into the Ground of Metaphysics? Existentialism: from Dostoevsky to Sartre. New York: The World Publishing.

Mates, B.(1986). The Philosophy of Leibniz, New York: Oxford University Press.

Pippin, R.B., (1989) Hegel's… [END OF PREVIEW]

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