Modern Western Concepts of Philosophy of Education

  • K. A. Ivanova National University of Pharmacy
  • Y. V. Balabay National University of Pharmacy
  • G. O. Khirina National University of Pharmacy
Keywords: philosophy of education, empiricism, rationalism, naturalism, humanism, behaviorism, categorization


The philosophy of education is represented by a wide range of concepts and approaches. The basic concepts of the philosophy of education can be divided into 4 groups according to the «pure» philosophical systems: realism, idealism, pragmatism, existentialism. Among the goals of the philosophy of education as an independent science are: stimulation, analysis, ordering, research. The delineation of the concept of education and the notion of school education are an important aspect in formulating the goals of the philosophy of education. A significant place in the process of finding and setting the goals of the philosophy of education is occupied by an alternative: discipline of mind or discipline of knowledge? It is worth paying attention to the goals of the modern Western philosophy of education: training for the formation of character, training for personal growth and success, training for the development and refinement of aesthetic predispositions, etc. Within the frameworks of the American philosophy of education, three main directions were formed: empiricism, rationalism, naturalism. According to the approach of the empiricists, education is the main factor, influencing human existence, which stimulates human activity, forms the person’s abilities and character. Rationalists introduced the idea of «self-alienation» as the most important for the philosophy of education. «Self-alienation» is a transition of a student from one stage of training to another one under the supervision of a teacher, when human mind becomes an object of his own attention. At the last stage of the student’s intellectual development, discovery of universals, laws and principles takes place. According to naturalists’ concept, the conclusions of scientific study of nature should be understood not as a testimony of truth, but as working hypotheses for further investigation. Scientific discoveries should be discoveries for education. Modern educational systems of the philosophy of education consist of religious and rational humanism, pragmatism, existentialism, and analytical philosophy. The general tendency of humanism is based on the critique of the generally accepted methods of school education, which are indifferent to the individual features of students. The philosophy of education is an interdisciplinary science that uses approaches and knowledge of the methodology of a number of related sciences. Education responds quickly to changes in market approaches and needs, and modern philosophical and educational discourse must be shaped by the influence of leading trends.


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How to Cite
Ivanova, K. A., Balabay, Y. V., & Khirina, G. O. (2017). Modern Western Concepts of Philosophy of Education. Scientific and Theoretical Almanac Grani, 20(6), 64-68.