Philosophical Method

The educational researches are designed to achieve the following four objectives:
• To formulate new theory, principles and laws,
• To establish new truth or reality,
• To find out new facts, and
• To suggest new applications.
These objects are achieved by conducting historical, experimental survey and philosophical researches. The philosophical researches are conducted to establish truth or reality. Education has two respects: theoretical and practical. The practical aspect is enriched by scientific researches and conducting philosophical researches can develop theoretical part of education. Our system of education is based on the western philosophy. The theoretical aspect of our education is not our own, it is borrowed from the west. Therefore, it is an urgent need to evolve our own theory of education with the help of philosophic research of education. The author of the book has attempted in this chapter to provide a guide line for the philosophic method of research.
       Þ    Philosophy tries to comprehend lived experience or ‘concrete action’. Emmanuel Kant ascribed a ‘critical’ function to philosophy. This function is concerned with an inquiry that begins from given experience or body of knowledge and seeks the intelligible conditions of its possibility.
        Þ    The term philosophy may become more clear if we say what philosophy is not.
         It is not speculation, i.e. unreal or unverifiable. Philosophy is not a speculative discipline in the sense that it begins with gratuitous assumptions about man or the universe.
         It is not religion, although the philosopher may deeply concern about the nature of God or the possibility of immortality of man.
         It is not a way of life, in the sense in which we sometimes refer to a person’s “philosophy of life”. It is not the poetic appreciation of a beautiful sunrise.
        Þ    The philosopher, Maritain, has described this paradox in his essay, on the use of philosophy:
       Þ    “Philosophy, taken in itself, is above utility. And for this very reason philosophy is of the utmost necessity for man. It reminds them of supreme utility of those things which do not deal with means, but with ends. For men do not live only by bread, vitamins and technological discoveries. They live by values and realities which are above time, space and are worth being known for their own space; they feed on that invisible food which sustains the life of the spirit, and which makes them aware, not of such or such means at the service of their life, but of their very reasons for living and suffering and helping.”
      Þ    The purpose of the philosophy is to inquire into the truth of ultimate proposition about existence, life, and reality, good and so forth.
       Þ    The philosopher in society witnesses to the supreme dignity of thought he points to what is eternal in man, and stimulates our thirst for pure knowledge and disinterested knowledge, for knowledge of those fundamentals about the nature of things and the nature of mind and man himself, and God which are superior to and independent of, anything we can make or produce or create and to which all our practice is a pendent, because we think before acting and nothing can limit the range of thought: our practical decisions depend on the stand we take on the ultimate questions that human thought is able to ask. That is why philosophical systems, which are directed toward no practical use and application, have such an impact on human history.
       Þ    Philosophy pursues the most basic, fundamental or ultimate, therefore, the most radical questions that can be raised by the human intellect questions which lie at the very periphery of human reason. Philosophy seeks answers to the ultimate questions reality, paradoxically it is the bulwark of the other disciplines and therefore eminently useful and at the same time it is above mere utility.
      Þ    A pervasive element like philosophy offers endless scope of research. It is co-existent with the fact human conduct and life. Philosophy in such usage means the related theory, which arises from and in return governs a given practice. It is true that theoretic constructs and consideration of why and wherefore can be conceived of and produced for any human activity.
       Þ    The term ‘philosophy of education’ is regarded as somewhat presumptuous by more conservative type of person. It is felt that education is a practical activity whereas philosophy is concerned with ultimate and fundamental issues of life, death and the nature and existence of the God lead, and at least a direct and immediate relation between the two is not apparent to the naked eye. If philosophy in its last analysis is a way of life, education is the method inculcating that way of life in others. The details of that method are determined by one’s theory of knowledge, concept of reality and the mind of man. The ends of human life and the means of attaining these ends are both important problems of philosophy.
         Þ    Therefore, no serious harm is done to philosophy if it is brought down from the high empyrean to consort with an everyday concern like education.
         Þ    Philosophy of education means either the principles of philosophic thought applied to the field of education or the specific analysis-and the accompanying practical recommendations–i.e., philosophic analysis of education. The phrase “philosophy of education” is roughly equivalent to what we may consider to be a “way of thinking about” education. Philosophy is the contemplative side and education is the practical side of the same process.
       Þ    The contribution of philosophy of education is considered to be significant in the field of education. All educational programmes such as aims of education, curriculum, educational resources, educational organization. discipline role of teacher and students, etc. are determined with the help of an educational.
         Þ    philosophy. In determining aims of education, the contribution of educational philosophy is important because in the absence of the knowledge of related circumstances and problem is, the aim can not be formulated and without the aims success of education remains doubtful. Similarly, educational philosophy is important for curriculum-construction, because curriculum should not only help in the mental development of students but also in their emotional development. Thus, the scope of educational philosophy is the entire field of education.
        Þ    John Dewey, explaining the scope of educational philosophy and science has expressed the view that philosophy of education formulates or determines the aims of education while science considers the means or methods of achieving them.
       Þ   In the discipline of research methodology, two approaches are followed: quantitative and qualitative approaches. The quantitative approach is employed in scientific research or inquiry. The qualitative researches are also equally important in area of education. It is used in historical and philosophical researches.

       Þ   This concept can be illustrated with the following example: If a researcher asks, “How should mathematics be taught?” He is posing a legitimate research problem of empirical in nature. He is asking, “What means are most effective and most efficient for teaching mathematics?” But there is another question he may ask: “should mathematics be taught at all?” The first question is an empirical one: it suggests the observation and measurement of quantitative phenomena. The second question is, however, qualitative: it considers the value or the importance of mathematics. It may be answered in many ways, but whatever answer is given will depend in turn upon more far-reaching conclusions. If we say, for instance that mathematics contributes to the ‘good life’ or the development of the whole person. What is good life; what is a whole person?