What is Philosophy? How is Philosophy Related to Education?

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Basically, philosophy means “the love for wisdom”. Philosophy seeks to justify something though rational interpretation.

Philosophy is also a way of life. In a wider sense philosophy is a way of looking at life, nature and truth. It sets up the ideals for an individual to achieve them in his life time.

According to Alfred Weber,

“Philosophy is a search for comprehensive view of nature, an attempt at a universal explanation of the nature of things; a person who searches into the reason and nature of things, who tries to arrive at a general principle, and who attempts to apply those principles to daily conduct of life, acts like a true philosopher.”

John Dewey defines philosophy as

“critical reviewing of just those familiar things.”

Relationship between Education and Philosophy

Philosophy and education are two different fields of studies but they are closely linked together, because without any rational thinking prior to education, the whole educational process is directionless.

The relationship between education and philosophy is explained as follows:

Aims & Objectives: Education in every society is directed for specific aims and objectives. That aims and objectives are set by a philosophical approach. For example the aims of our education system are to develop socially and morally sound person.

Methods & Curriculum: Every educational system is based upon specific teaching methodologies and the curriculum. What should be the teaching methodology? And what kind of teacher should be? And what kind of curriculum be taught to the students? All the answers are given by philosophy. Here, education is dependent on philosophy for guidance in various of areas.

Philosophy of Education: There is a separate branch of philosophy which is called philosophy of education. The branch investigates that what should be the nature of education? Whether the educational aims be based on specific religion, social, moral, scientific basis. And how these aims can be achieved?

Education is the Dynamic Side of Philosophy: The great scholars like Plato, and Aristotle wanted that their philosophies should be given practical shape. The shape can be given only through well planned education system.

Sound Mind in Sound Body or Virtuous Man: The main purpose of education is to have sound mind in a sound body, and virtuous person. Philosophy seeks to provide the meanings of what is sound mind, sound body, and what virtuous person is. We can say the philosophy is the contemplative aspect of education and education is the dynamic aspect philosophy.

It is said that a teacher is not a teacher in true sense of the term, if he/she is not able to discover the relationship between philosophy and education. According to Thomson, every teacher should realize the importance of philosophy in education. Because of this close relationship between education and philosophy, they are often called the two sides of the same coin.

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