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ERIC Number: EJ1140178
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0039-3746
Exploring William James's Radical Empiricism and Relational Ontologies for Alternative Possibilities in Education
Thayer-Bacon, Barbara J.
Studies in Philosophy and Education, v36 n3 p299-314 May 2017
In "A Pluralistic Universe," James argues that the world we experience is more than we can describe. Our theories are incomplete, open, and imperfect. Concepts function to try to shape, organize, and describe this open, flowing universe, while the universe continually escapes beyond our artificial boundaries. For James and myself, the universe is unfinished, a "primal stuff" or "pure experience." However, James starts with parts and moves to wholes, and I want to start from wholes and move to parts and back to wholes again. This is an issue between us I further consider, for while he describes himself as a "radical empiricist," emphasizing the parts, my descriptions are in terms of w/holism. I use this opportunity to explore James's contributions to my metaphor of "pure experience" as being like an infinite Ocean and the fishing nets we create represent our ontologies and epistemologies that help us catch up our experiences and give them meaning. I also make the case for why a better understanding of ontology matters for us as educators, using Maria Montessori's curriculum and instruction design, Dinè Primary School, and Cajete's theology of place and culturally based science as examples of relational fishing nets we could be using to teach our children.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A