Philosophy by lanyuehua


Philosophy is “a system for guiding life” or
 “a study of the most general causes and
 principles of the universe,” or “the study
 of truth or the principles underlying all
 knowledge” (Harold Barrow 1979).

Philosophia   in   Greek   means   “love   of
          Fields of philosophy
There are different areas of philosophy, which
 include the following:
     Metaphysics: the study of the nature of reality.
     Ontology: the study of the nature of being.
     Theology: the study of the nature of God.
     Cosmology: the study of the nature of the universe.
     Epistemology: the study of the nature of knowledge.
     Axiology: the study of the nature of good.
     Aesthetics: the study of the nature of beauty.
     Politics: the study of the nature of the common good.
     Logic: the study of the relationship of ideas to one
     The mind and body
Explain the role of mind and body?
            Mind and body
Dualism is …
The recognition of two independent powers of
 principles, such as mind and matter.
The mind may be viewed as reflecting on our
 own thinking or consciousness.
To be conscious does not involve being a
 certain shape or size or to move in a certain
 way and thus no extension can come from the
The body may be considered as not ‘me’ but
 part of the material world that most directly
 affects the mind.
      How does the mind and
         body interface?
The mind may be the inner cause of behaviour
 not just behaviour re-described.
Is pain physical or non-physical?
Is the mind matter or non matter?
Is the word mind the best description for the
Is the brain a material governor? A physio-
 chemical machine?
        The body and being
The relationship between mind-body are the
 relationships    studied     by     philosophers.
 Phenomenologists      (researchers     of    self-
 awareness) investigate body and being.
They begin with the presumption that the body
 is the primary self and study the bodies
 experience in different sports situations, and
 note how it differs in nonphysical situations.
Are there absolute measures for determining good
 and evil, right and wrong? Do such standards
 change depending on the situation? What
 constitutes the “good life.”?

What is the best form of government? What is the
 role of education in the social structure? What
 should be its goals? Should physical education be in
 a school curriculum?
     Sport as a meaningful
The peak experience is “that moment
 when the person is totally involved, in
 control, and effortlessly touching
 that flow of personal perfection.”
    How do we experience
It is temporal in character.
It has elements of organic physical and cultural
It involves the past, present and future.
It has a time-space locus.
It involves some object or phoneme in the
It can be perceptual, imaginative or conceptual.
           Sport and aesthetics

When does the phenomena have the quality to be
 considered art?

Is movement to be considered a source of
 aesthetic experience?

How do we judge a sports high dive or an ice-
 skating contest?
         Sport and values

What values are generally taught in
Ethics define what people ought to do and
 morals describe what people do.
Our beliefs dictate our behavior?
A theory underlies every action?
Does physical education teach moral
Contemporary Philosophies of
  Education and Physical
Naturalism is based on its base word natural. It is a
 belief that the laws of nature govern everything in
 life. It states because nature is unchanging,
 anything of value will always work.
Naturalism also emphasizes individualism by
 considering the person is more important than
 society as a whole. Although societal goals rank
 lower than individual goals, this system accepts the
 need for a social authority to prevent chaos.
               In Education
In education the idea is the process should be
 geared to the student, rather than the student
 geared to the process. The teacher is both guide
 and educator.
The teacher primarily helps the teacher to learn
 but nature does the teaching. The student must
 make an active effort to learn, with punishments
 and rewards as part of the process.
The rate of learning depends on the student,
 because the educational process requires a physical
 and mental balance, rather than the promotion of
 one over the other.
        In Physical Education
In physical education, naturalism considers the
 whole person, not just the physical aspect.
Rousseau’s book “Emile” developed this idea
 emphasizing play as an important part of the
 process. Play has the element of competition but it
 is not strongly emphasized. Teaching is paced with
 the student’s needs, using reasonably democratic,
 informal methods.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this
 philosophical viewpoint?
This school considers all things interpreted by the
 mind. All reality comes from the mind.
People’s rational (reasoning) powers help them find
 the truth, although they may use scientific
 methods to help in the discovery.
According to idealism people are more important
 than nature because their minds interpret
 everything in nature for them.
Ideas are true and never change, so moral values
 never change. People have the freewill to choose
 right and wrong.
                In Education
Most of the educational process under idealism is
 concerned with the mind, so content is objective.
Education develops the individual personality,
 fostering moral and spiritual values are important.
The teacher creates a learning environment, but
 the student is responsible for motivation and
Many teaching methods may be used, but education
 takes place primarily through the active effort of
 the student.
          In Physical Education
Idealists consider physical education less important
 than the more thought-orientated, educational
Physical education is based on known truths,
 principles, and ideas that do not change, so the
 program can be rather fixed and formal, although
 not without variety in activities and teaching
The teacher is an important example to the
 students, a role model in the use of ideas and
 Idealism is a well-developed, broad philosophy for education
  and physical education. It gives the student a strong place
  in the universe by developing a feeling of individual
 It permits a broad physical and intellectual growth, with
  play and recreation making important contributions. At the
  same time many object to the idealist notion of teaching
  values that they have been established by past experience;
  there is less interest in dedication and sacrifice for
 Moreover some teachers’ actions may contradict the values
  they seek to teach, as in the saying “actions speak louder
  than words.” The idealist primary concern is to develop the
  mind and so values the physical as less important. Many
  idealists question the role of play in education.
Realism falls between naturalism and idealism. The
 philosophy argues that the physical world of nature
 is real, so people should use their senses and
 experiences to understand it.
Experiment means, the scientific method, which
 helps realists discover and interpret truth. Realists
 believe that the physical things that happen result
 from physical laws of nature.
They also hold that the mind and body cannot be
 separated: one is not superior to the other.
 Although naturalism does not permit religion (it
 puts nature above everything) and idealism does not
 permit religion, realism allows its adherents to go
 either way in determining their beliefs.
             In Education
The first priority of the realist
 educational process is to develop the
 student’s reasoning power because that
 power is considered essential to further
Scientific, objective standards are always
 part of an orderly, scientifically orientated
 process and curriculum.
         In Physical Education
Physical education is valuable in the realist
 curriculum because it results in greater health and
Realists believe that a healthy person can lead a
 fuller life. The realist physical education program is
 based on scientific knowledge and uses many drills
 to instill knowledge according to scientific
Social behaviors and life adjustment are important
 benefits of recreational and sporting activities.
Realism deals with the world as we find it because
 the world of cause and effect cannot be changed.
It gives physical education a clear function as a
 healthy physical basis for life. However, realism
 gives a more clearly defined place for physical
 education in the educational process than many
 other philosophies. Why?
The authoritarianism suggested by the realist
 acceptance of standardization and drill learning is
 not consistent with the needs of democratic
 societies. Societal needs and trends are negligible
 factors in realism.
 Pragmatism is part of the broad philosophy of secularism.
 Pragmatism is a home grown American philosophy where as
  many others come from Europe.
 Some of the phases that highlight Pragmatism are: “if there
  is a will there is a way,” or “If it works use it.” The
  Pragmatist says, “ I don’t have time in my life to figure out
  all the mysteries about ultimate reality and ultimate
  purpose that religion and philosophy have been traditionally
  concerned about.
 I have to be busy with living. My life involves encountering a
  myriad of problems and I need to find solutions to those
  problems.” Modern man looks towards the scientific
  community to solve problems.
Pragmatism was once called experimentation
 because it is based on learning from experiences or
The theory argues that because change is a
 characteristic common to everything in life,
 success is the only reliable judge of any theory or
 truth; anything that is true can be proved.
Success in social relations is important. The
 philosophy emphasizes societal living and preparing
 people to take their places in a harmonious society.
The basic pragmatic educational tenet comes
 from John Dewey, who advocated “learning by
 doing,” or gaining knowledge through experience.
At the same time, the emphasis is on the student
 rather than the subject area; each person is
 different, so not all students should be forced
 into the same mold.
Problem solving (experience) is the basic
 educational method, and the ultimate judgments
 are made in terms of a person becoming the
 productive member of society.
The need is to develop the total person- mind,
 body and soul, using a very broad process.
 According to the pragmatic view of education, physical
  activities have a social value, because they help integrate
  students into society by teaching them how to act and react
  with other people.
 The curriculum is based on the needs and interests of the
  students, and offers a variety of activities for a multiple of
 The problem-solving method is used even in physical
  education. The teacher tries to motivate the student rather
  than use standardized programs.
 Pragmatism is the practical approach to education that
  breaks down the distinctions between life in and out of
 It encourages people to cooperate by using a broad program
  based essentially on whatever works. Physical education has
  broad social uses and is important in pragmatism.
 However, pragmatism’s experimental approach to education
  is difficult to apply to physical education because the end
  result may be an unimaginable multitude of goals.
 The pragmatic philosophy of education has no fixed aims or
  values. It does not provide the stability and direction
  needed by many students.
“Man is a useless passion.” These words were
 penned by the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre
 and provide the model for modern existentialism.
The cry is that passion makes a man more than an
 intellectual capacity or biological processes. Hence
 comes the questions today of “how do you feel
 about that,” rather than what do you think about
Feelings have become the new standard of human
This thought process comes as a reaction of the
 dry philosophical debates about what is man? The
 origins of this philosophy stem back to Freidrich
 Nietzsche who is famous for penning “God is dead.”
This statement was taking secularism to its logical
 conclusion. If there is no God then we have the
 right to decide our own morals and ethics, if we
 simply have the courage to live by our convictions.
 The root of the matter though is called “nihilism.”
Existentialism judges everything in terms of
 the individual, who interprets experiences and
 develops a personal system of values.
The person is more important than society, and
 whether the person fits into society is not the
Existentialism is often called negative
 Existentialism because they believe nothing can
 be done to change things.
The implications of this philosophy on education can
 be summarized as a process of learning about
 oneself and developing ones own beliefs.
The school would only provide a learning
 environment. The student would control the
 curriculum and methods and the teacher would act
 as a stimulator.
Responsibility towards oneself would be encouraged
 rather than towards society. Students would be
 made aware that they are responsible for the
 consequences of their decisions.
In physical education, existentialism would allow
 freedom of choice within the program. This might
 take any form and therefore could not be planned
 ahead by the teacher.
A wide variety of activities would result in the
 development of creativity. The teacher would act
 as the counselor by pointing out the various
 available activities, and ultimately the students
 would be responsible for selecting the activities in
 which to participate.
 Based on these suppositions, the
 philosophy would appear to have only one
 real strength: individuality, which makes
 each student very important.
The importance of each student in the
 school community and particularly in the
 outside world would be hard to meet the
 existentialist’s requirements.
     Humanistic education
Humanism has a long history stemming back
 to Protagoras a Greek Philosopher who
 developed the concept of humanism.
His motto was “Homo mensure.” The idea is
 that man is the measure of all things.
This philosophy and its teaching led to a
 great debate between Martin Luther and
 Erasmus in the sixteenth century. Erasmus
 stated his belief “ad fontes” which means
 “to the source.”
          Humanistic education
What had happened in the renaissance was the
 rebirth or the rediscovery of learning Luther and
Erasmus’s debate is symbolic of the conflict of
 humanism and the church. Man –centered or God-
Humanism is a philosophy has central to it the
 concern that man’s welfare is central, or put
 another way it is the belief that every human being
 is an individual and should be treated as an
 individual rather than part of a larger group.
         Humanistic education
The educational approach of the humanist tries to
 counter the impersonal aspects of living in a
 crowded society by trying to show concern to every
It encourages the involvement of everyone in the
 educational process, not just some of the members
 of the group.
The humanist does not try to make each person the
 center of everything in education. It is simply an
 effort to ensure that each person retains a
 personal identity in society.
     Humanistic education
The approach tries to maximize student’s
 potential contributions to society, and to
 develop maximum student self-respect.
Physical education can be part of a more
 humanistic society because its activities
 include very close primary contact between
 individuals and groups.
What are the different types of
   Mental wandering
   Intuitive thinking
   Creative thinking
   Problem solving
   Deep thought
   Comprehensive thinking
   Trying to recall.
 How do we apply philosophy
   in physical education?
Philosophy is a vital part of the physical
 education programmes because it is a
 major influence on the early stages of
 program planning.
Facts + Philosophy          Principles +
 Needs           Goals + standards
     Policies and procedures
         Ethics and problems in
Ethics is a normative science, searching for the
 principle foundations that prescribe obligations or
 “oughtness.” It is concerned primarily with the
 philosophical premises upon which imperatives are

Morality is a descriptive science, concerned with
 “isness” and the indicative. Morals describe what
 people do; ethics define what people ought to do.
What physical education philosophy best
 represents your views?
How would you describe the philosophy
 underlying the physical education program
 in the high school you attended?
Which "philosophy" seems to dominate
 professional sport?
Which philosophy dominates activity at a
 local fitness club? Which dominates youth

To top