ERIC Number: ED213356
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
The Philosophical Roots of Lifelong Learning.
Lewis, Rosa B.
The philosophical roots of the concept of lifelong learning are considered in relation to the views of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. They pioneered in their analyses of intellectual development and in the importance of the use of the mind throughout the life span. Plato and Aristotle added metaphysical arguments to support their systems of thought. Both outlined a specific sequence of studies to develop the powers of reasoning, and both established institutions wherein students and scholars could pursue learning for an indefinite period of time. Both Plato and Aristotle believed that certain sorts of study enabled the philosopher to engage in a lifetime of study that propelled toward his Ideal. Both emphasized the importance of early molding of the child and the importance of stories and music and gymnastics for the growing body. Plato thought the study of mathematics to be particularly important in helping the adolescent mind learn to do abstract thinking. Plato thought that after a period of intensive study of dialectics, or logical reasoning, at age 50, the learner was intellectually prepared to begin the study of philosophy, which would continue to engage his attention until the completion of life. Aristotle placed less emphasis on the study of mathematics and more stress on the value of reading, writing, and drawing as tools to facilitate learning. Like Plato, Aristotle felt that the study of philosophy should come late in life, after experiences of living had given to the student a richness of thought that would make subjects that depended on experience more valuable. Both Plato and Aristotle emphasized the importance of the complete life span in determining the degree of happiness reached during that life. A bibliography is appended. (SW)
Descriptors: Abstract Reasoning, Adult Learning, Educational Philosophy, Experiential Learning, Higher Education, Intellectual Development, Lifelong Learning, Logical Thinking, Philosophy
John H. Russel Center for the Study of Higher Education, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606.
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Toledo Univ., OH. Center for the Study of Higher Education.