Philosophical Education

Philosophical Education

 

the training of scholars and teachers in the field of philosophy. Before the second half of the 19th century, philosophical education was synonymous with general education; it later became oriented toward the training of specialists in different branches of philosophy.

Philosophical education originated in such schools of philosophy as the Pythagorean school and the Socratic schools. In ancient Greece there were two opposing concepts of philosophical education. One was that of the Sophists, who rejected the need for an organized system of philosophical education and stressed oral instruction and self-education. The other concept emphasized the necessity of founding permanent schools that would provide instruction in philosophy. During the period between 400 B.C. and 390 B.C., the rhetorician Isocrates established in Athens the first permanent school with a three-year program of instruction in philosophy, which at that time was believed to comprise all knowledge. During the Hellenistic period a system of philosophical education was founded in Athens that was based on four philosophical schools: Plato’s Academy, Aristotle’s Lyceum, and the Epicurean and Stoic schools. Later centers of philosophical education in the Hellenistic world were the library at Pergamum and the Alexandria Mouseion.

In Rome, philosophy was taught by itinerant scholars, by domestic tutors in the families of the aristocracy, and at schools of rhetoric. In the schools of rhetoric at Rome, Cremona, Athens, Antioch, and Alexandria, philosophy was viewed as the foundation of all education. The most famous schools of philosophy in Rome were those of the Stoics and Epicureans, which were supported by the government.

The transition from a republic to an empire led to the centralization of philosophical education in Rome. In A.D. 176, all the schools of philosophy were merged into a single educational institution, and the private schools of rhetoric were closed down. State control over philosophical education became more marked: teachers of philosophy were paid by the state, specialized departments were established to supervise philosophical education, and prospective teachers of philosophy were obliged to pass state examinations. The Athenaeum in Rome and the University of Constantinople were under the patronage of the emperor. The School of Athens was later closed down by the Emperor Justinian, in 529.

In Byzantium, philosophy was taught at the University of Constantinople, at the patriarchal school, and at private schools. In these institutions, commentaries were written on the works of the Greek philosophers, philosophy was subordinated to Christian theology and Neoplatonism, and the study of philosophy was limited to the reading of texts.

During the Middle Ages, philosophy was studied in monastery schools, in abbeys, and at church assemblies. The manuscripts of the classical Greek philosophers were collected, copied, and translated. Important philosophical schools were founded by the Arabs in the East, the first in Baghdad in 832.

During the Carolingian renaissance of the eighth and ninth centuries, philosophy was taught in monastery schools at Reims, Utrecht, Chartres, and Paris. Between the 12th and 14th centuries, the monastery schools in Bologna, Paris, Naples, Padua, Oxford, Cambridge, and Prague became universities. In the 13th and 14th centuries the foremost university in Europe was the University of Paris, whose faculty of liberal arts was a prominent center for the study of theology and philosophy.

According to F. Engels, in medieval philosophical education “ecclesiastical dogma was the point of departure and the foundation of all thought. Jurisprudence, the natural sciences, and philosophy—the entire content of these scholarly disciplines was made to agree with church doctrine” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 21, p. 495). Philosophical education was also greatly influenced by the religious orders that controlled the universities. In the early Middle Ages, the study of philosophy in the universities was limited almost exclusively to interpreting the writings of the church fathers. In the late Middle Ages, philosophical education consisted primarily of polemics on the validity of various interpretations of Aristotle. The faculties of philosophy at the medieval universities awarded the baccalaureate, licentiate, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

During the Renaissance, philosophical education developed outside the traditional centers of cultural life, that is, the universities and monasteries. All the important Renaissance philosophers severed their ties with the university corporations and viewed philosophical knowledge (primarily ethics and aesthetics) as the individual achievement of each thinker, to be acquired by his own efforts. The rejection of authoritarian forms of philosophical education, which were associated with the church, resulted in the emergence of new forms of philosophical education: the study of philosophy within groups of humanists and among circles of scholars in academies. After the Renaissance, these groups developed into national academies.

During the French Revolution, a number of reforms took place in university education. Freedom of research, teaching, and learning was affirmed, lectures were not to be given in the vernacular, and the philosophical faculties were divided into departments. All these reforms favorably influenced the development of philosophical education. Philosophical education also developed outside educational institutions, in the form of such schools of philosophy as the Cartesian, Wolffian, and Hegelian schools.

In the second half of the 18th century and the early 19th century, the philosophers Kant, Fichte, and Hegel developed a concept of philosophical education as a comprehensive spiritual process of individual self-development. These thinkers viewed philosophical education as an integrated education that synthesized all areas of knowledge. Their viewpoint was expressed in Schelling’s lectures on philosophy as a system of knowledge and as a method of academic study, as well as in Hegel’s essay “The Teaching of Philosophy in Universities” (1816), which proposed that philosophical education be restructured into a system of universal education.

In the 20th century, the universities have remained the leading centers of philosophical education. Today, teachers of philosophy and scholars in the field of philosophy are trained in the faculties of philosophy at universities, in state-supported institutes, and in private organizations. Philosophical education has become increasingly dependent on state financing and state control.

In the capitalist countries, the competition among institutions that provide philosophical education has become intensified. The teaching of philosophy is not carried out according to a methodical plan, and there are disproportions in the funding of institutions providing philosophical education. The best departments of philosophy and the best faculties are concentrated in a limited number of universities, which in turn are concentrated in a limited number of areas. All these factors testify to the crisis in the system of education in the capitalist countries.

In Russia, philosophy was at first taught in theological educational institutions. One of the first centers of philosophical education in Russia was the Slavonic-Greco-Latin Academy, founded in 1687. Beginning in the early 19th century, philosophy was taught in Gymnasiums. There were faculties of philosophy at Moscow University and at the universities of St. Petersburg, Kazan, and Kharkov. Philosophical education in Russia was at first based on Aristotle and his commentators, and beginning in the mid-18th century, on textbooks by such popularizers of Leibniz and Wolff as F. Baumeister.

In the mid-19th century, the official ideology of autocracy, Orthodoxy, and nationalism was at the basis of the tsarist policy toward the universities. This policy found expression in a statement made by the minister of public education, P. A. Shirinskii-Shakhmatov: “The benefits arising from philosophy have not been proved, whereas harm from it is possible.” In 1850, Shirinskii-Shakhmatov ordered that philosophy be excluded from the curricula of the universities, as it had earlier been excluded from the Gymnasiums.

The new university charter of 1863 had a beneficial effect on the system of higher education and restored the teaching of philosophy in the universities. However, at the turn of the 20th century philosophical education as such did not exist in Russia: in 1914 not one of Russia’s ten universities had a faculty of philosophy. Philosophy was taught in subdepartments of philosophy at a number of universities and in theological academies in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, and Kazan.

The period after the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution witnessed the establishment of a system of philosophical education based on the principles of Marxist-Leninist philosophy. The founding in 1918 of the Socialist Academy of Social Sciences, which in 1924 became the Communist Academy, facilitated the development of philosophical education in the USSR and the training of teachers and scholars in the field of philosophy. The Institute of the Red Professors, founded in 1921, trained Marxist philosophers. In 1931 the Moscow Institute of History, Philosophy, and Literature was founded; in 1941 its branches merged with the corresponding departments of Moscow State University, including the university’s department of philosophy. Between 1931 and 1937 the Leningrad Institute of History, Philosophy, and Linguistics was in operation.

In the USSR, specialists in philosophical education are trained in the departments of philosophy at Moscow University, Leningrad University, the Kazakh and Urals universities, and the universities of Kiev, Tbilisi, and Rostov, as well as in divisions of philosophy at a number of other universities. In 1975 there were 4,370 students specializing in philosophy at the universities and 820 students enrolled in departments of philosophy; 705 specialists in philosophical education graduated from these departments.

The curricula for students specializing in philosophical education include courses in dialectical and historical materialism, the history of foreign philosophy, the history of the philosophy of the peoples of the USSR, the history of Marxist-Leninist philosophy, contemporary bourgeois philosophy and sociology, logic, aesthetics, ethics, the history of religion and of atheism, ancient history, medieval history, and modern and contemporary history. Much attention is devoted to such socioeconomic disciplines as scientific communism, the political economy of capitalism and socialism, and the history of the CPSU, as well as to foreign languages.

The main aim of philosophical education in the USSR is the training of teachers of philosophy and of the social sciences. The curricula consequently include such pedagogical disciplines as pedagogy and psychology, as well as a group of disciplines in the natural sciences; depending on their field of specialization, students take courses in the fundamentals of contemporary mathematics, in general and theoretical physics, or in the fundamentals of biology. The course of study in departments of philosophy lasts five years. Graduates must pass state examinations and defend a diploma thesis on a selected topic. Some 20 percent of the classroom time in the universities is devoted to the field of specialization at the corresponding subdepartments.

Scholars and teachers in the field of philosophy receive graduate training at higher educational institutions, at scientific research institutions of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, at republic-level academies, at the Academy of Social Sciences of the Central Committee of the CPSU, and at the Higher Party School of the Central Committee of the CPSU. A course on Marxist-Leninist philosophy is given at all higher educational institutions in the USSR. In 1976 there were 13,745 teachers of philosophy on the staffs of higher educational institutions; of these, 531 were doctors of philosophy and 6,554 were candidates of philosophy. Specialized institutes for the advanced training of teachers of philosophy have been established.

The leading centers of philosophical education in other socialist countries are as follows.

Bulgaria

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Sofia

Czechoslovakia

Faculty of Philosophy and Arts at the Comenius University of Bratislava

Faculty of Philosophy at the Purkyně University in Brno

Faculty of Philosophy at the Charles University in Prague

German Democratic Republic

Department of Marxist-Leninist Philosophy at the Humboldt University of Berlin

Department of Philosophy and the Humanities at the Technical University of Dresden

Department of Philosophy at the Ernst Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald

Department of Philosophy at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg in Halle

Section of Marxist-Leninist Philosophy at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena

Faculty of Philosophy and History at the Karl Marx University of Leipzig

Department of Marxism-Leninism at the University of Rostock

Hungary

Faculty of Philosophy at the Attila József University

Poland

Faculty of Philosophy and History at the Jagellonian University in Kraków

Faculty of Philosophy and History at the University of Łódź

Faculty of Philosophy at the Catholic University of Lublin

Faculty of Philosophy and History at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

Faculty of Christian Philosophy at the Catholic Theological Academy in Warsaw

Faculty of Philosophy and History at the B. Bierut University of Wroclaw

Rumania

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Bucharest

Faculty of History and Philosophy at the Al. I. Cuza University of Iaşi

Yugoslavia

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Belgrade

The leading centers of philosophical education in the capitalist countries are as follows.

Argentina

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Buenos Aires

Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities at the Catholic University of Córdoba

Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities at the National University of Córdoba

School of Philosophy at the Catholic University of Cuyo

Austria

Faculty of Philosophy and Natural Sciences at the Karl Franzens University of Graz

Faculty of Philosophy at the Leopold Franzens University of Innsbruck

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Salzburg

Faculty of Philosophy and Natural Sciences at the University of Vienna

Belgium

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the Antwerp University Establishment

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the Free University of Brussels

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the State University of Ghent

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Liège

Faculty of Philosophy at the Catholic University of Louvain

Brazil

Institute of Human Sciences at the University of Brasilia

Institute of Philosophy and Humanities at the Pontifical University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre

Center of Philosophy and Human Sciences at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Center of Theology and Human Sciences at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro

School of Communications and Philosophy at the Pontifical Catholic University of Sāo Paulo

Faculty of Science, Philosophy, and Letters at the University of Sāo Paulo

Canada

Department of Philosophy at the University of Montreal

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Ottawa

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Quebec

Colombia

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Bogotá

Federal Republic of Germany

Faculty of Philosophy at the Rhine-Westphalian Technical Higher School of Aachen

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Augsburg

Department of Philosophy at the University of Bielefeld

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Bonn

Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology at the Carolo Wilhelmina Technical University of Braunschweig

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cologne

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Düsseldorf

Faculty of Philosophy at the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Erlangen

Faculty of Philosophy at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg in Freiburg im Breisgau

Faculty of Philosophy at the Georg August University of Göttingen

Faculty of Philosophy and History at the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg

Faculty of Philosophy at the Christian Albrechts University of Kiel

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Konstanz

Faculty of Philosophy and Pedagogics at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz

Faculty of Philosophy, Psychology, and Pedagogics at the University of Mannheim

Faculty of Philosophy and History at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Faculty of Philosophy at the Wilhelm Westphalian University of Münster

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Regensburg

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Saarland in Saarbrücken

Faculty of Philosophy at the Julius Maximilian Bavarian University of Würzburg

Finland

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Helsinki

France

Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Dijon

Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology at the University of Grenoble

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Lille

Faculty of Philosophy at the Catholic Faculties of Lyon

Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences at the University of Lyon

Faculty of Letters at the University of Nancy

Faculty of Philosophy at the Catholic Institute of Paris

Faculty of Philosophy at the Catholic Institute of Toulouse

Great Britain

Faculty of Philosophy at Cambridge University

Greece

Faculty of Philosophy at the Aristotelian University of Salonika

India

Faculty of Arts at the University of Calcutta

Italy

Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Bari

Faculty of Arts and Philosophy at the University of Bologna

Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Catania

Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Florence

Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Genoa

Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Messina

Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan

Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Milan

Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Naples

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Padua

Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Palermo

Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Perugia

Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Pisa

Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Rome

Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Turin

Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Urbino

Mexico

Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara

School of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Guanajuato

Institute of Philosophical Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City

The Netherlands

Central Inter-faculty at the State University of Leiden

Faculty of Philosophy at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam

Norway

Faculty of History and Philosophy at the University of Oslo

Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Tromsø

Spain

Faculty of Philosophy and Education at the University of Barcelona

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Granada

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the Autonomous University of Madrid

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the Complutensian University of Madrid

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the Pontifical University of Salamanca

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Salamanca

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Valencia

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Valladolid

Sweden

Faculty of Arts at Göteborg University

Faculty of History-Philosophy at the University Branch of Göteborg University in Karlstad

Faculty of Humanities at the University of Lund

Faculty of Humanities at the University of Stockholm

Faculty of Arts at the University of Uppsala

Switzerland

Faculty of Philosophy and History at the University of Basel

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Bern

Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Zurich

United States

Department of Philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley

Department of Philosophy at the University of California at Los Angeles

Faculty of Philosophy at Columbia University (New York)

Department of Philosophy at the University of Illinois

Department of Philosophy at the University of Indiana

Department of Philosophy at the University of Michigan

Department of Philosophy at the University of Missouri

Department of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania

Department of Philosophy at the University of Toledo (Ohio)

A. P. OGURTSOV

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