Philosophy Ideology and Theory Essay

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Educational Ideology, Philosophy, And Theory

Differentiating Ideology, Philosophy, and Theory

The concepts of ideology, philosophy, and theory are interrelated in ways that account for difficulty in understanding their distinctions (Rosenstand, 2008). The fact, for example, that all ideologies incorporate (or are based on) one or more philosophy is one source of potential confusion; the fact that the converse is sometimes but not necessarily always true is another source of potential confusion (Rosenstand, 2008; Wiley, 1995). In principle, ideology refers to a set of beliefs and often to a larger view (or a worldview); philosophy represents a systematic intellectual inquiry intended to help understand the nature of reality; and theory is a methodological approach to interpreting reality accurately and in a manner consistent with the available empirical data (Rosenstand, 2008; Wiley, 1995).

Within the realm of education, for example, the belief that modern education is deficient for specific reasons would be an ideology; the position that the key to improving education lies in better meeting the needs of all students through recognition of the differences in their learning styles and preferences would be a philosophy; and a testable hypothesis about the efficacy of various teaching methods in relation to different learning styles would be an example of a theory.

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Essay on Philosophy Ideology and Theory Assignment

In general, ideologies are beliefs or sets of beliefs about the world or about a subset of the world of particular interest (Taylor, 2002). In contemporary American society, both political conservatism and political liberalism would constitute ideologies, as would Communism, Marxism, and Socialism. All of those ideologies encompass underlying philosophies consistent with the overall worldview shaped by the ideology. To a certain extent, different (meaning mutually inconsistent) philosophies can fit within the same ideology, provided only that they do not conflict with the more general principles or set of beliefs that define the ideology.

For example, Republican conservatives may differ substantially in their particular philosophies in many areas without deviating from the core ideology of Republican conservatism. That is particularly evident today in the political extremism voiced by segments of the Republican Party whose members refer to themselves as "Tea Partiers." Likewise, every Democratic primary election campaign demonstrates the wide range of political and social (and other) philosophies among political liberals, most of whom share the worldview and ideological perspective of the Democratic Party.

Ideologically, most politically conservative republicans share the worldview that government should exercise only minimal control over private business; nevertheless, certain conservative Republicans may consider health insurance reform a valid exception from that general principle, philosophically. Similarly, most conservative Democrats might share the worldview that government has a fundamental obligation to regulate business as necessary to maintain certain standards and public policy; nevertheless, certain liberal Democrats may oppose the idea of a public healthcare option administrated by the federal government.


Philosophy is further differentiable into several different components. Specifically, metaphysics is the study of what exists (ontology) and how it relates to and fits into the world (cosmology), while epistemology is the study of knowledge and the identification of what is and is not knowable (Mihaly, 2007; Taylor, 2002). Axiology is the study of the relative merit or value of ideas and consists of an ethical branch that focuses on right and wrong or good and evil, and an aesthetic branch that concerns what is beautiful and what… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Philosophy Ideology and Theory.  (2010, August 10).  Retrieved September 19, 2020, from

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"Philosophy Ideology and Theory."  10 August 2010.  Web.  19 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Philosophy Ideology and Theory."  August 10, 2010.  Accessed September 19, 2020.