Education and philosophy are closely inter-related. Philosophy is love of knowledge and education is acquisition of knowledge. Philosophy is the corner stone of the foundation of education. Education is practical activity of philosophical thought. Without philosophy, education would be a blind effort and without education, philosophy would be crippled. Philosophy answers thousands of questions pertaining to the whole field of education.
Philosophy of education can refer to either the academic field of applied philosophy or to one of any educational philosophies that promote a specific type or vision of education, and/or which examine the definition, goals and meaning of education.“The art of education will never attain complete clearness without philosophy’’ Fichte. “Education is the Dynamic side of philosophy’’ James Rose.
Idealism is the oldest philosophical thought. Human life has two dimensions- Spiritual and Material. When the emphasis is on the spiritual life, it is called Idealism. The word idealism is derived from two distinct sources- the idea and the ideal. Idea means true and testified knowledge. The word ideal stands for the perfected form of an idea or ideas. An idealist does not have considerations for material values of life. A thinker who idolizes ‘Mind and Self’ is an idealist. Protagonists of idealism are- Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Spinoza, Burkley, Kant, Fitche, Schelling, Hegel, Green, Gentile (the Western); From Vedas and Upanishads to Aurobindo Gosh (the Eastern philosophers).
DEFINITION OF IDEALISM
To make the meaning of Idealism more clear give below some important definitions as given by eminent scholars-
i. “Idealism holds that ultimate reality is spiritualism.’’ D. M. Dutta
ii. “Idealistic philosophy takes many and varied forms, but the postulate underlying all this is that mind or spirit is the essential world stuff, that the true reality of is of a mental character’’ J. S. Ross
iii. FUNDAMETAL PRINCIPLES OF IDEALISM
The fundamental principles of idealism are as under-TWO FORMS OF THE WHOLE WORLD
Idealism believes in two forms of the world-(1).Spiritual world (2).Material world.
Idealists give more importance to spiritual world in comparison to the material world. They believe that spiritual world is real and the ultimate truth where as the material world is transitory and mortal. To know the reality of the spiritual world is to know the reality of mind and soul. It is a sort of self- realization – the main aim of human life. According to Horne- “Idealism holds that the order of the world is due to the manifestation in space and time of an eternal and spiritual reality.”
2.1 IDEAS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN OBJECTS