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Albert Bazala and the Teaching of Philosophy

Boris Kalin

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 584 Kb

str. 165-174

preuzimanja: 840



In his lecture entitled »Philosophy in Secondary-School Instruction, with Special Reference to Grammar Schools«, given in 1905, Bazala criticized the positivistic spirit of the times and particularly the practice of separating individual scientific and scholarly discipline s from philosophy. He held that different subjects of instruction should not remain isolated but should all be integrated into a coherent teaching which embraces the totality of human life.
From man's dual aspiration - the desire for knowledge and the search for happiness – there follows the dual purpose of philosophy: it should be a view of the world and a view of life. A view of the world is indispensable as a foundation for a view of life, but it should not be allowed to remain philosophy's main preoccupation. Giving primary weight to the practical uses of philosophy (primum vivere deinde philosophari), Bazala rejects philosophy as a »school subject« and opts for philosophy as a »cosmic notion« (in sensu cosmico). He opposes the wisdom of learning by the wisdom of life.
An educational change cannot be achieved by reforming the subject matter of instruction but only by changing the educational perspective. The reform should start with the teachers.
The school must be related to life, and to be that, it must be related to philosophy. Using quite specific examples and analyzing specific teaching procedures, Bazala shows that any type of instruction in any subject will necessarily have also quite definite philosophical implications. To succeed as a secondary-school teacher, every subject teacher should also have an understanding of philosophy and sociology and know at least the basics of almost all disciplines.
There are two more, shorter papers which are important for Bazala's philosophy of education: »On the Idea of Teaching« (1922) and the preface to S. Pataki's book Problems of Philosophical Pedagogy (1933). The main ideas of these two texts can be summarize d as follows: Education means freedom and the affirmation of life: it is a renaissance - the rebirth of man. It should be noted that education and life are coincidental. »Education is philosophy that has become living man.« Teaching cannot be reduced to a mere technique; it is always a creative, artistic activity - otherwise, it remains a craft. Education is not a piece of property, a hand-me-down object or good; it is not passeddown but won; it is a task. It is acquired. And it is not given but set as a task.

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