A Treatise on Education: In Hopes of a Better Future
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Whenever I ask a certain acquaintance of mine to tell me what he knows about anything, he wants to show me a book: he would not venture to tell me that he has scabs on his arse without studying his lexicon to find out the meaning of scab and arse. All we do is to look after the opinions and learning of others: we ought to make them our own. We closely resemble a man who, needing a fire, goes next door to get a light, finds a great big blaze there and stays to warm himself, forgetting to take a brand back home.
What use is it to us to have a belly full of meat if we do not digest it, if we do not transmute it into ourselves, if it does not make us grow in size and strength? If our souls do not move with a better motion and if we do not have a healthier judgement, then I would just as soon that our pupil should spend his time playing tennis: at least his body would become more agile.
Hume’s Moral Philosophy
But just look at him after he has spent some fifteen or sixteen years studying: nothing could be more unsuited for employment. The only improvement you can see is that his Latin and Greek have made him more conceited and more arrogant than when he left home. He ought to have brought back a fuller soul: he brings back a swollen one; instead of making it weightier he has merely blown wind into it.
And I loathe people who find it harder to put up with a gown askew than with a soul askew and who judge a man by his bow, his bearing and his boots. Learning is a good medicine: but no medicine is powerful enough to preserve itself from taint and corruption independently of defects in the jar that it is kept in.
One man sees clearly but does not see straight: consequently he sees what is good but fails to follow it; he sees knowledge and does not use it. But in truth I know nothing about education except this: that the greatest and the most important difficulty known to human learning seems to lie in that area which treats how to bring up children and how to educate them. Socrates and then Archesilaus used to make their pupils speak first; they spoke afterwards. Those who follow our French practice and undertake to act as schoolmaster for several minds diverse in kind and capacity, using the same teaching and the same degree of guidance for them all, not surprisingly can scarcely find in a whole tribe of children more than one or two who bear fruit from their education.
On the art of acquiring “a high degree of intellectual culture without emotional atrophy.”
Let the tutor not merely require a verbal account of what the boy has been taught but the meaning and substance of it: let him judge how the boy has profited from it not from the evidence of his memory but from that of his life. Spewing food up exactly as you have swallows it is evidence of a failure to digest and assimilate it; the stomach has not done its job if, during concoction, it fails to change the substance and the form of what it is given.
The profit we possess after study is to have become better and wiser. Nor is it enough to toughen up his soul; you must also toughen up his muscles.
Teach him a certain refinement in sorting out and selecting his arguments, with an affection for relevance and so for brevity. As for our pupils talk, let his virtue and his sense of right and wrong shine through it and have no guide but reason.
In his commerce with men I mean him to include- and that principally- those who live only in the memory of books. By means of history he will frequent those great souls of former years. If you want it to be so, history can be a waste of time; it can also be, if you want it to be so, a study bearing fruit beyond price. The first lessons with which we should irrigate his mind should be those which teach him to know himself, and to know how to die … and to live. Any time and any place can be used to study: his room, a garden, is table, his bed; when alone or in company; morning and evening.
His chief study will be Philosophy, that Former of good judgement and character who is privileged to be concerned with everything. For among other things he had been counseled to bring me to love knowledge and duty by my own choice, without forcing my will, and to educate my soul entirely through gentleness and freedom.
Learning must not only lodge with us: we must marry her. Study the past if you would define the future.
David Hume - Wikipedia
I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there. Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous. Confucius , Analects. Those who educate children well are more to be honored than parents, for these gave only life, those the art of living well. Aristotle , In Education. The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead.
All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth. Now we are not merely to stick knowledge on to the soul: we must incorporate it into her; the soul should not be sprinkled with knowledge but steeped in it. And if knowledge does not change her and make her imperfect state better then it is preferable just to leave it alone.
She philosophy is equally helpful to the rich and poor: neglect her, and she equally harms the young and old. Let us have as few people as possible between the productive minds and the hungry and recipient minds!
The middlemen almost unconsciously adulterate the food which they supply. It is because of teachers that so little is learned, and that so badly. What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult. Sigmund Freud. To teach how to live without certainty, and yet without being paralysed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can do for those who study it.
To begin with our knowledge grows in spots. What you first gain, But while these special ideas are being added, the rest of your knowledge stands still, and only gradually will you line up your previous opinions with the novelties I am trying to instill, and to modify to some slight degree their mass.
Your mind in such processes is strained, and sometimes painfully so, between its older beliefs and the novelties which experience brings along. William James , Pragmatism. Chess permits freedom of permutations within a framework of set rules and prescribed movements. Because a chess player cannot move absolutely as he likes, either in terms of the rules or in terms of the exigencies of the particular game, has he no freedom of move?
The separate games of chess I play with existence has different rules from your and every other game; the only similarity is that each of our games always has rules. The gifts, inherited and acquired, that are special to me are the rules of the game; and the situation I am in at any given moment is the situation of the game.
My freedom is the choice of action and the power of enactment I have within the rules and situation of the game. Fowles , The Aristos. Our present educational systems are all paramilitary. Their aim is to produce servants or soldiers who obey without question and who accepts their training as the best possible training.
Those who are most successful in the state are those who have the most interest in prolonging the state as it is; they are also those who have the most say in the educational system, and in particular by ensuring that the educational product they want is the most highly rewarded. Every serious student of the subject knows that the stability of a civilisation depends finally on the wisdom with which it distributes its wealth and allots its burdens of labour, and on the veracity of the instruction it provides for its children. We cram our children with lies, and punish anyone who tries to enlighten them.
Our remedies for the consequences of our folly are tariffs, inflation, wars, vivisections and inoculations — vengeance, violences, black magic. George Bernard Shaw. The greatest Art is founded on profound Truths. Aristotle was one of the greatest of the famous philosophers and should be read by all people interested in philosophy and wisdom. Famous Quotes from a highly Intelligent Philosopher.
Socrates - 'Know Thyself' - Condemned to death for educating the youth to Philosophy and arguing that people are ignorant of the Truth. Physical objects are not in space, but these objects are spatially extended. In this way the concept 'empty space' loses its meaning. The particle can only appear as a limited region in space in which the field strength or the energy density are particularly high.
The free, unhampered exchange of ideas and scientific conclusions is necessary for the sound development of science, as it is in all spheres of cultural life. We must not conceal from ourselves that no improvement in the present depressing situation is possible without a severe struggle; for the handful of those who are really determined to do something is minute in comparison with the mass of the lukewarm and the misguided. Humanity is going to need a substantially new way of thinking if it is to survive!
We can now deduce the most simple science theory of reality - the wave structure of matter in space. By understanding how we and everything around us are interconnected in Space we can then deduce solutions to the fundamental problems of human knowledge in physics , philosophy , metaphysics , theology , education , health , evolution and ecology , politics and society. This is the profound new way of thinking that Einstein realised , that we exist as spatially extended structures of the universe - the discrete and separate body an illusion.
This simply confirms the intuitions of the ancient philosophers and mystics. But that depends on you, the people who care about science and society, realise the importance of truth and reality. Just click on the Social Network links below, or copy a nice image or quote you like and share it. We have a wonderful collection of knowledge from the greatest minds in human history, so people will appreciate your contributions.
In doing this you will help a new generation of scientists see that there is a simple sensible explanation of physical reality - the source of truth and wisdom, the only cure for the madness of man!
Geoff Haselhurst Updated September, A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. Max Planck , Connect with Geoff Haselhurst at Facebook. Aristotle Since philosophy is the art which teaches us how to live, and since children need to learn it as much as we do at other ages, why do we not instruct them in it?
You are welcome to use images and text, but please reference them with a link to relevant web page on this site. Eastern Philosophy Wisdom. Ancient Greek Philosophy. Octopus habits of worry and nervousness rise from ocean depths in the subconscious, fling tentacles around our minds, and crush to death all that we once knew of inner peace. True happiness is never to be found outside the Self. Those who seek it there are as if chasing rainbows among the clouds!
And then—the petals begin to fade; expectancy turns to disappointment. In the twilight of old age they droop, gray in disillusionment. Analyze, with understanding born of introspection, the true nature of sense-pleasures. You cling to them, yet know in your heart that someday they cannot but betray you.