ERIC Number: ED238847
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Cartesian Dualism and Physical Education: Epistemological Incompatibility.
Two questions arise in examining the implications of physical education: Is physical education an education of the physical? and Is physical education an education through the physical? In these two questions there are two distinct points of view, two different ways of understanding the meaning, scope, and aim of education, two conceptions of man, and two implicit epistemological theories. Addressing these questions, this paper presents an analysis of the philosopy of Descartes, who voiced the clearest articulation of the dualistic conception of man. One of the central doctrines of Cartesian Dualism is that there is a real distinction between mind and body, though they are intimately connected. Descartes' epistemological position is that there is no conceptual connection between any "thought" or mental occurrence and any physical occurrence. An analysis of his position shows that there cannot be such a thing as physical education, whether it is interpreted as education of the physical, or as education through the physical. The analysis also shows that under the Cartesian thesis, the common notion of education as a process, and as an institution that is generally understood to involve teachers and students, cannot be. Under an integrated, unified model of man, physical education is not education of the physical nor is it education (of the mind) through the physical, but it is the education of the person. (JD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Descartes (Rene)
Note: Paper presented at the Physical Education Body of Knowledge Symposium (Columbus, OH, October 13-15, 1983).