Knowledge and the Self

Man has long been educating his kind - from way back the prehistoric ages where they wrote on leaves up until today where man uses computers.  In between those eras of accomplishment, Immanuel Kant and Jean Jacques Rosseau have taken on the challenges of plotting the best principles of education in honing man.  These two great philosophers have inspired many educators in their time and even long after they have died their works are still widely read.

Jean Jacques Rousseau, in his work Emile,  viewed man as weak, helpless and foolish when born into this world.  According to him, the individual can change this initial stature through education and that it can only be attained by three ways   of nature, men and things.  The growth of the body is accounted for  nature , the way the individual utilize our body is accounted for  men  and the experiences the body underwent in the environment is accounted for  things .  By habituation of the knowledge that the individual learns from these three ways,  he will be able to grow into a fine man.   Although Rousseau clearly made his point regarding the importance of free-will in the child, he also stated in his book that the child cannot be left alone while in the process of growing, for environmental factors can corrupt the childs education and may later produce a  beast  in the society.  He emphasized the importance of a mother in preventing the production of  these debauched men.  To him, the blind love of a mother is a hundred times better than the strictness of a father as the compassion grows into the child and this bears fruit as mans humanity.  (Rousseau, 2007)

Immmanuel Kant, in the translated work of Churton, viewed man as a citizen of the community rather than an individual with free-will.  According to him, the person is honed by the culture of the society and instilled in this are  discipline and instruction .  By fulfilling his own duty to the community, the individual develops into a fine member of the community.  For him, freedom is a tool for shaping  undisciplined men who follow every caprice .  Rosseau also included the importance of developing the abilities of a child little by little as they grow up.  He clearly stated that education is what makes a man furthermore,  it is also the duty of the grown man to pass on this education to the nect generation. (Kant, 2004)

Both philosophers have several similarities in their respective theories.  For one, Rousseau and Kant had made emphasis on experience as the primer of an individuals comprehension.  This  experience  leads the individual into gaining knowledge yet it does not bound the process of education in that alone.  Rousseau mentioned three ways of gaining experience   that is of nature, men and things  on the other hand, Kant defined only the senses in gaining experiences.  Both philosophers also mentioned the importance of child nurturing in the early stages of education.  Rosseau had made it a point to emphasize the role of a mother in the childs growth while Kant did not mention any particular parent-figure in the childs development. According to him, the individual must hone his abilities by his own efforts for it is his duty to do so.

As the great Lao Tzu have said,  Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.  The world is a battlefield,it always has been since the time of the creation. Brauns were the trend during those time but now education is the most efficient weapon that any individual can have   it will definitely help you survive the  world of ties and suits .   It is through education and education alone that can uplift an individual further up the top of the food chain.


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