ERIC Number: ED224402
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Philosophy as Conceptual Therapy.
Bartlett, Steven J.
Perspectives regarding the "information-oriented" approach of conservative, traditional philosophy and an approach to philosophy known as "conceptual therapy" are offered. The former emphasizes scholarship, textual explication and criticism, and, in general, a knowledge of the views of traditional thinkers. Philosophy as conceptual therapy seeks an improvement of intellectual skills, and fosters a therapy for concepts and, by inference, a therapy for thinkers. It is argued that the traditional information-oriented approach to philosophy does not help its students effectively to develop intellectual skills, and that a conception of philosophy as conceptual therapy can provide a valuable contribution to the teaching and to the subject-matter of philosophy. It is suggested that the information-oriented historian of philosophy is frequently incompetent to judge the relative merit of incompatible systems and ideas because, although adept at scholarship, the historian-philosopher tends to be unable to evaluate the worth of theories investigated. On the other hand, the conceptual therapist is limited by historical incompetence (i.e., not being informed of the lessons learned over the centuries). Current attitudes toward education foster almost exclusively the first approach: an educated person is above all informed. It is claimed that the well-educated person unfortunately has not learned to think much better than peers who never attended college. The validity of the fixed intelligence hypothesis is briefly addressed. Based on current evidence, it is proposed that abilities of intelligence can be systematically developed in individuals by means of suitable training. (SW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Lilly Endowment, Inc., Indianapolis, IN.
Authoring Institution: N/A