Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | November 12, 2009

Weekly Read-Along—November 13, 2009: On Education

Material for the Stout-Hearted Reader to Ruminate

♦ Essays, Lectures & Speeches ♦

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Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860) was a German philosopher known for his atheistic pessimism and philosophical clarity. He was among the first to contend that at its core, the universe is not a rational place.  His best-known work is The World as Will and Representation (1818). 

This week’s text is Schopenhauer’s essay “On Education” in Studies in Pessimism (1890), which is a selection and translation by T. Bailey Saunders of nine essays from Schopenhauer’s Parerga und Paralipomena published in1851.

He based his argument in “On Education” on the statement that, “The human intellect is said to be so constituted that general ideas arise by abstraction from particular observations, and therefore come after them in point of time.”  He then argued that education, especially for children less than 12 years of age, should enrich the opportunities for observation and limit the amount of general ideas taught.  He felt this to be a more natural way of learning that minimized the need to unlearn fallacies later on.

Join others from around the world in this weekly reading event! You can find Schopenhauer’s text at these websites:

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