Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Looking for a Teleological School?

Perhaps my analysis yesterday was unnecessarily indirect.

Dr. Florian Hild on the Core Knowledge blog:

Classical education is teleological.


A teleology is any philosophical account which holds that final causes exist in nature, meaning that design and purpose analogous to that found in human actions are inherent also in the rest of nature. The word comes from the Greek τέλος - telos, root: τελε-, "end, purpose."

Teleology was explored by Plato and Aristotle, by Saint Anselm around 1000 A.D., and later by Immanuel Kant in his Critique of Judgement. It was fundamental to the speculative philosophy of Hegel.

A thing, process or action is teleological when it is for the sake of an end, i.e., a telos or final cause. In general it may be said that there are two types of final causes, which may be called intrinsic finality and extrinsic finality.[citation needed]

In a sense here I'm just saying, "Jeez, these guys are really classical." However, there also seem to be some code words being sent to conservative parents in Colorado about what is and is not taught in the school that don't mean much to the rest of us.


Jason said...

So your argument with Hild's post is that 1) You think she's signaling all kinds of stuff on her school webpage, not in the article itself that may or may not mean something about other views they ascribe to; 2) Hild believes that education and learning has a goal.

Of couse, attaching "purpose" to teology through your lens that they may be ID/creationists seems to me to be signaling your belief that if you accept the premise that education is about an outcome or purpose you accept the teological argument for creationism.

Must be hard to jump across those canyons.

Even if she was a ID/creationist (which makes me cringe all kinds of ways), that doesn't seem to be particularly relevant to this exact case. Just because a teological argument around evolution is ridiculous doesn't mean that any time anyone argues that there's an end goal they're being ridiculous.

Tom Hoffman said...

I don't have an argument per se, just trying to figure out why someone would describe their school as teleological. It is just peculiar.

Robert Pondiscio said...

I think Dr. Hild's comment that education is teleological means simply that he perceives an order and purpose in education--there is a body of knowledge worth knowing, and coherence and structure that is optimal to its mastery. Anyone who favors a classical education would agree, and I don't find anything remarkable or controversial in that statement. And in the case of this particular school, which is wildly successful, it seems to be working. And as a charter school anyone who does not favor this form of education is free to send their children elsewhere.