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Reflective Writing

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Dr. Michael Hart
EDUC 305
Reflective Writing Assignment 3

Idealism is derived from ancient Greek philosopher, Plato. Idealists believe that reality exists independent of the human mind. Matter is characterized by instability; therefore it is not a reliable source of knowledge. Idealism is characterized as education that is highly intellectual in content and the standards of achievement are universal. This means that all students are held to the same standard of excellence. All ideas are deemed as enduring and the only true reality (Dunn, 2005). Idealism challenges the mind to consider the nature of reality and questions of “ought” and “why” directly addressing question of truth and meaning Plato views on idealism are contrasted with Aristotle realism and he believed that the external world have apparent absolute existence. Idealism provides meaning without verification, and realism provides verification without meaning (Brayley, 2003).
Aristotle is referred to as the father of realism. Unlike Plato, Aristotle did not believe that reality existed independent of the human mind. He instead believed that reality consisted of both matter and form. He stated that each particle of matter has both universal and particular properties. Realists believe that reality exist independent of the human mind. Aristotle believes that the proper study of matter leads to the formation of better ideas, and ultimately true knowledge and understanding. Aristotle beliefs are apposite of Plato. He believed realism represented true nature of reality (Dunn, 2005).
Pragmatism is a philosophy that encourages us to seek out the processes and do the things that work best to help us achieve desirable ends. The pragmatism focus is on the reality of experience. Pragmatists believe that reality is constantly changing and that if we apply our experience and thoughts to problems we are more likely to learn. Pragmatists believe in democratic society and that scientific methods should be used to solve human problems. They also believe that change is the essence of reality (Dunn, 2005). , Realism believes that the nature of reality is free from the mind. Truth is observable through the senses and objective by nature. On the contrary, pragmatism determines what is real through observation and experience. As a result, reality constantly changes as experience alters truth. Thus, there are no absolute truths or laws (such as the laws of physics). Whereas realism holds the nature of reality independent from cognitive interaction, pragmatism embraces experience and observation.
Existentialism is a philosophy concerned with the individual. The existentialist philosophy has two groups. The first group consists of Christian or Jewish philosophers and the second group consists of atheistic existentialists. This philosophy consists of ideas such as existence precedes essence, human beings have free will, and life is a series of choices for which responsibility must be taken and that some things are irrational or absurd and without explanation. Existence precedes essence means that subjectivity has to be the starting point for considering a person being in the world. Free will and choice a person uses to define themselves helps to construct meaning in the world any way they see fit, because nothing can prevent a person from becoming what they desire to become. When existentialist makes reference to a man being responsible for himself, they are not referring to a man being responsible for his own individuality, but he is responsible for all men. In other words when we make choices for ourselves, we are making choices for all of humanity. Ultimate reality is lived reality. Our experiences are what are real to us (Dun, 2005).
Postmodernism takes the idea of existentialism several steps further. Reality for example, is seen as a composite of the interaction between our ideas of the works and our experience in the world. Postmodernism refers not only to a philosophical movement but to a movement in art, literature, and architecture as well. Postmodernism also refers to a challenging of presumptions about theories and truths. Postmodernists believe there are no universal truths and a person should live their life without absolute truth and standards. Postmodernists also believe that power is never held by any one identifiable group, instead by particular people in particular situations for particular amounts of time. As with existentialists, postmodernists argue that schools use their power to shape order, control, and direct individuals in its institutions (Dunn, 2005). If I had to choose a philosophy that I was most comfortable with, I would choose Pragmatism. I would choose this because pragmatism requires a person to do what is best to help them achieve desirable goals. Pragmatism accepts what works and nothing else as the definition of truth. Pragmatists also believe that things when we apply our experience and thoughts to problems we are more likely to learn. Pragmatists believe that if something works then it’s true otherwise if it doesn’t then it must be false.

References
Brayley, J., Layman, J. & White, R. (2003). Foundations of Christian school education. Colorado Springs, Co; ACSI/Purposeful Design Publication
Dunn, Sheila G. (2005). Philosophical foundations of education: Connecting philosophy to theory and practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc., Merrill-Prentice
Hall.…...

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