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Title:Postmodern philosophy, relativism, and a renewed vision of education
Author(s):Cho, Hwa-Tae
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Feinberg, Walter
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Philosophy of
Abstract:Contemporary postmodern philosophy has been characterized by its radical rejection of the epistemic foundations and metanarrative of modern philosophy. By denying the ultimate Archimedean point for grounding truth, objectivity, and rationality, postmodern philosophy invokes relativism in which the contingent, hermeneutical, and historical nature of human knowledge and rationality is emphasized.
Many thinkers believe that the relativistic ideas of postmodern philosophy will cause a collapse of our moral and intellectual life and inevitably lead to social disintegration. Many educational thinkers observe the devastating impacts of relativistic tendency of postmodern philosophy on educational theory and practice.
The purpose of this study is to examine the implication of contemporary postmodern philosophy in order to explore the possibility of reaffirming the role of education in establishing the conditions of social unity, transcending the possibly devastating effects of relativistic ideas and views. Chapter One presents the thesis of this study, that is, that postmodern understanding of moral-practical-dialogical nature of human knowledge and rationality provides a theoretical framework within which a vision of education for a democratic society is revitalized.
Chapter Two provides an account of how postmodern philosophy gives support to relativism by denying foundationalist faith in transcendental, ahistorical grounds of truth and rationality.
Chapter Three provides an account of how postmodern philosophy is moving towards a renewed vision of human society and conversation by presenting a deeper understanding of the moral-practical-historical nature of human knowledge and rationality, emphasizing the primacy and importance of human agency, value, tradition, and communal dialogical efforts.
Chapter Four explores the educational implications of the postmodern understanding of moral-practical-dialogical nature of human knowledge and rationality and the vision of society embedded in that understanding. This study concludes that the postmodern understanding of human knowledge, rationality, conversation, and community presents a challenge to educators to recast their vision of education without depending on the certainty of Platonic transcendental conceptions of truth and reason.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Cho, Hwa-Tae
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9026158
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9026158

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