Faculty of Education - Theses

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    Philosophy, society, education: a theory developed from the work of John Dewey
    Duff, Barry Edward ( 1986)
    A theory of Language. use, the Minimum) L(inguistic) S(ituation)-theory, is stated, and located within the naturalistic problematique in a broad interpretation of the history of Western philosophy. From the MS-theory is derived - an apparatus of inquiry which includes definitions of the main concepts of the traditional apparatus, inference, laws, etcetera; the "meaning"/ "truth" distinction is shown to be vacuous in the MS-theory, - a theory of social reproduction : to wish or need to join a Language-community is to have no alternative but to conform rigidly.- Hence a theory of the reproduction and stability of an isolated Language-community is formulated and used to explain how - the fundamental means of reproduction of _ societies being the reproduction of Language-communities - unique individuals may nevertheless be produced. The two obvious possible deficiencies which can occur in the acquisition of competency to participate in full Linguistic interactions are identified. It is shown how these deficiencies could explain the reproduction of an essential prerequisite of the differentiation of pluralistic societies into classes; - a means by which disputes between Language-communities (which under the MLS-theory are incommensurable) can be pursued. Some of the traditional problems of social change, formulated as disputes between Language communities, are briefly discussed, - a definition of scientific, aesthetic, methodological, mathematical and logical, and historical inquiries. Some other inquiries, ethical and literary discourse, which cannot be sharply characterized are briefly analysed in terms of the MLS-theory, and the "fact"/"value" distinction is shown to be vacuous in the MS-theory. All of the above are drawn on in the formulation of a theory of pedagogy which is rather like Dewey's as it would be if augmented by Freire's. However, when this pedagogy is rigorously formulated in terms of the MLS-theory, it becomes gently critical of the work of both writers. It is shown that the conditions necessary for the reproduction of criticism (the essential characteristic of Western culture) are rather fragile. Some specific requirements for the reproduction of criticism in the types of inquiry defined earlier are formulated.