On the Contemporary Relevance of Greek παιδεία to the Concept of a Balanced Education: Aristotle, Nietzsche, Camus, H. Arendt
Contemporary education systems are in a constant process of restructuring, thus requiring philosophy to reconsider the basic assumptions of education. The phenomenon of education can only be defined and clarified historically, i.e. with reference to the ancient Greek paideia. The Greek culture created a comprehensive system of both education and pedagogy as a theory of education, teaching, and knowledge (Dilthey).
(1) A phenomenological approach to Aristotle's pedagogy. Aristotle's theory of physical, moral, and political education (Nicomachean Ethics and Politics) is founded upon the notion of the natural development of every being. In addition, Aristotle creates the concept of philosophical pedagogy. A philosophically educated person (ho pepaideumenos) has the competence to treat problems emerging with the formation of particular sciences, and to reflect on the method of each scientific discipline. This philosophical culture is also connected with dialectic, rhetoric, and politics.
(2) Nietzsche's ideas on education and culture are presented in two of his early works: On the Future of Our Educational Institutions and We Philologists. In his criticism of the German education system of his time, he explains his basic historical assumption that the real homeland of education is the Hellenic world. A restructuring of the education system cannot be carried out without the Greek and Roman antiquity as the embodied categorical imperative of all culture. A general education which disregards antiquity is considered barbaric. However, Nietzsche's philosophy of education remains unfinished, giving no definite conclusions.
(3) Camus’ philosophy describes the modern West European culture as nihilistic. The essence of nihilism is a systematic ignorance of the limits of human nature, which can lead to historical crimes and to destroying the conditions for the human existence in the world. The formation of a world that will not be subdued by the logic of nihilism is possible only through artistic creativity. His ‘solar’ or Mediterranean thought, giving special emphasis to nature, measure, and beauty, is a revival of Greek philosophy.
(4) In her essays Between Past and Future, Hannah Arendt studies the contemporary crisis of education. She distinguishes three causes for the crisis: the assumption of an autonomous child's world, the predominance of pedagogy over knowledge, and the teaching of skill rather than of knowledge. Every education system must bear responsibility for the development of the child as a person, at the same time ensuring the continuity of the world. The phenomenon of refusing responsibility for the world is a symptom of estrangement. In her view, education is where it is up to us to decide whether we love the world and our children enough to prepare them for the task of renewing a common world.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published (print and online) in Keria by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.