When I originally though of the word ego before reading this section of Freud’s work, I imagined he would be explaining more along the lines of confidence or strictly the self-value of the human. I also thought of a particular artist, Beyonce, and her song “Ego” from 2008 and how she takes about exuding said confidence. I also thought about her persona in general and how when it comes to the ego, it’s one of those personal components of her being that seem to be very high. With numerous accolades in the music industry, it would only make sense for Beyonce to have such a high level of self-esteem, and thus, have a big ego.
Both Hegel and Freud venture to explain the consciousness and how we interpret our surroundings. In Freud’s piece, An Outline of Psycho-Analysis, he explains how we interact with internal and external events in terms of the id, ego, and super ego, while Hegel explains his ideas in Sense Certainty using the all-excompassing ‘I’. Continue reading
Posted in Contemporary Philosophy, Experience, Knowledge
Tagged Alexia, Consciousness, ego, freud, hegel, I, id, sense certainty, super ego
Hey guys! So we’ve read a lot on education and about how philosophers like Friere, Foucault, and Gatto strongly dislike the educational system that we have today.However, none of these philosophers, except for Friere (kind of), gave any solution to the problems in education. I think that I might have a partial solution to the problems in education; actually, I didn’t really think of this, but the high school I went to did. I’m thinking that every high school can implement these solutions. The first is allowing a student to do independent study-which I will explain a bit more later- and allowing them to attend a technical school while they are in high school.
So independent study was a really cool program at my school for juniors and seniors. If students were on track with their credits, they could decide to study and research and do projects on things that they found interesting and wanted to learn about. For example, if the only thing that really interested you in high school was molecular biology or learning about the civil war, my high school would partner you with a person who was a professional on that information, and you would work with that person and do research projects for the remaining two years of high school (as well as doing your normal school work).This program is a solution, I feel, because it allows students to be trained in something that actually pertains to the goals that they want to achieve in their life and that can actually be useful to them in the real world. This is one of the big issues that the philosophers had with our educational system, and I think that this program provides a partial solution because students at least have some kind of authority over what they are going to be taught and do in life.
The other program that my high school did was allow juniors and seniors go to a technical school for half of a school day, and then spend the rest of the school day taking their regular classes. So, if the student wanted to become a nurse, or a mechanic, or a cosmetologist, or a photographer, they could get more than basic knowledge and experience in the field of their choice before going into the real world. Also, the technical school is great because it gives students the chance to decide if the program that they’re in is really something that they would like to do for the rest of their lives as a career.
Both of these programs, I believe, give students some power when it comes to their education and what, specifically, they are being taught while in a public/private school system. I believe that if we implement these programs in every school, then education would be a better system overall, and people would be more excited to go to school and obtain a degree. What do you guys think?
This is a question I thought about from a while back. During our readings on knowledge, it seemed to me that the ancient philosophers liked to write about how they would educate their citizens in order to reach their ideal worlds, while the Enlightenment philosophers taught about how they believed the process of knowledge works without setting up definitive restrictions of how people should be controlled. For instance, Plato talks about the Myth of the Metals as a means to maintain order in The Republic while Hegel writes about the didactic method of obtaining knowledge. This makes me question as whether knowledge is a means or an ends. Is the use of false knowledge (Myth of Metals) morally corrupt if it accomplishes the goal of a peaceful city? Continue reading
John Gatto’s Dumping Us Down illustrates the negative aspects compulsory state-controlled schooling. Gatto spent 30 years as a schoolteacher and certainly knew everything there is to know about school. He is certainly a credible source and his account should serve as motivation and reason for change and evolution. He talks about how the educational system teaches the students seven negative lessons calling himself the seven-lesson schoolteacher. After going through a fine explanation of every one of the seven lessons, Gatto asserts that the system produces confused, cruel, passive, violent, and materialistic kids. Continue reading
Michel Foucault focuses on the concepts of discourse and power. His ideas can be seen in various political practices and conflicts, which I will discuss after I summarize his ideas below.
In 1968, a third grade teacher named Jane Elliott decided to take an unconventional approach to teaching about inequality. She divided her students into brown-eyed and blue-eyed groups. Each day, she told one group they were more superior than the other. The children learned an important, enduring lesson over those two days about the injustice of discrimination, which was documented by PBS Frontline.
This approach allowed the children to learn directly from experience, a type of education our philosophers touted. Continue reading
In order to help us better understand things like Foucault’s encompassing concept of power, John Storey introduces his (or Foucault’s) methodology of “discursive formations” (Storey 129). In adopting his world of discursive formations we are forced break free from our binary mentality where things either “are” or “are not” and accept that there is more than one direction to everything; rather than classifying something as oppressive or enabling we must acknowledge that it can be oppressive in some ways and enabling in others and entirely both things at the same time. Continue reading
“Discourses produce knowledge and knowledge is always a weapon of power” (Storey130).
I was quite impressed with the way Storey wrote on the relationship between discourse and power. Power, although not defined within Storey, was defined in Michel Foucault’s “The History of Sexuality”. Power is not defined in terms of traditional physical domination, it is a force, much like wind currents, that cannot be pinpointed at any exact location, it moves from all angles to any common point. It does, however, seek to control in a form of categorizing (Storey130). With that in mind, it was interesting looking at the syllogism Storey used to explain the discourse-power relationship. If one examines the thoughts of sexuality in Victorian England that takes on the form of letters, works, paintings, medical texts, etc. one can see the overall opinion, or knowledge of sexuality. It is with this opinion that power is exerted over sexuality in Victorian English society, for the categorization of any thoughts or actions that bear resemblance to sexuality are then grouped, and society has a way of exerting control over its own thoughts.
In the way of education, this comes to be a limiting factor in acquiring knowledge. Paul Freire in his work, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” would certainly agree, as, “Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention” (Friere72). Categorizing no doubt would make it easier to teach subjects, as concepts with common topics will be grouped together such as the STEM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). The challenge lies in that these categorizations are only through the discourse at any given time, therefore knowledge and opinion in society at large are responsible for the education structure at any given time. What does that mean? It means that our education is contingent with the public opinion, therefore, could it be said that it is media that controls what we read and understand, since public opinion is transferred using mediums such as newspaper, reporters, radio, and any other such modes of communication?
It means that our education is contingent with the public opinion, therefore, could it be said that it is media that controls what we read and understand, since public opinion is transferred using mediums such as newspaper, reporters, radio, and any other such modes of communication?
In Discipline and Punish: The Birth of a Prison, Foucault analyzes the oppressive classroom dynamic that resembles that of a military infrastructure in which the authoritarian leaders “discipline” the young. This dynamic proposed in Foucault’s piece is similar to that of Freire in Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Continue reading